Activist Alert!

KATU TV will be broadcasting what looks to be a Halloween spoof about the Oregon State Hospital. ‘Prisoners on the loose: Investigating security at the state mental hospital.’

UPDATE!  Thursday, Feb. 9 – KATU’s video teaser for their “expose” (which began with an ominously intoned “Dangerous mental patients!”) has mysteriously vanished from their website and from YouTube.  We await their apology.

The Mental Health Association of Portland has sifted through a lot of crap news stories about the Oregon State Hospital – but this looks to be a doozy.

What’s true? The hospital HAD four basic problems – decrepit and dangerous buildings, demoralized under-educated staff, stigma / fear / panic on the part of just about everyone but especially mental health providers and the media, and the association with Psychiatric Security Review Board.

Number one is resolved. Number two is changing fast. Number three, as evidenced by Dan Tilken‘s hysterical reporting above, is still a basic every day problem. Number four was addressed with major legislative changes in 2010.

Tonight KATU is the problem, not the solution. Too bad Dan couldn’t find a real story.

Care to comment about this stereotyping, fearmongering, ‘news’ piece? Call KATU News Director Don Pratt at 503-231-3508; or reporter Dan Tilken at 503-231-4264;

UPDATE – Disability Rights Oregon, NAMI Oregon, NAMI Clackamas County (and probably others, did you know there are slightly more mental health advocacy organizations in Oregon than there are mental health advocates?) have jumped onboard and messaged their members to contact KATU and speak up and speak out!.

SEE – Tonight! KATU Wants Everyone to Be Afraid of Marauding Crazy People!, Mercury, 2/9/2012

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2 Responses to STIGMA ALERT – KATU TV

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Volunteers and consumers with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Clackamas County voiced to KATU about this news report that just adds to already existing stigma and discrimination and though I voice “please still write to them your concerns!” I heard from NAMI Oregon we at NAMI and all of you who voiced too…we made a difference, it is being pulled. I was able to see how individuals who come together with a shared voice can make an impact. I grew up with family dealing with mental illness. I, myself have mental illness, I am also a co-worker, a graduate student, a wife…Kay Jamison wrote several books, her first “Unquiet Mind” about her challenges with bipolar disorder. She is a professional clinical pyschologist, researcher, author, and speaker. I got to hear her speak…I liked something she said which I paraphrase, we fly your planes, we teacher your children, we are your doctors…we are you! Please, let’s keep dialogue going and be as open as we can with those around us…it is hard…i find it hard sometimes…talk is not enough, but it’s a start. Stigma and discrimination feed off of silence…we need to continue to dialogue to help increase individual’s awareness and understanding of mental illness. One in four adults-approximately 57.7 million Americans-experience a mental health disorder in a given year. One in 17 lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression, or bipolar disorder and about one in 10 children live with a serious mental or emotional disorder. NAMI of Clackamas County is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all who lives are affected by mental health issues through education, support, outreach & advocacy. All activities and services are free. (503) 344-5050 I am also glad to know about the Mental Health Association of Portland.

  2. Connie Seymour says:

    This plays well into the fears that individuals in the community are not wanting residential homes, recovery city programs or community based clinics in their community. This really supports opening the Junction City Hospital/Prison Program. If people are afraid of people recovering from mental illness they will support the patients being locked up.

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