Oregon Speaker Tina Kotek supports psych hospital at Junction City; we still don’t

Thank you all for sharing your comments with me.

Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek

Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek

[ Kotek is responding to MHAP’s petition to stop construction of the proposed psychiatric hospital at Junction City. ]

Federal standards require people needing hospital level care to receive treatment in a hospital setting. In order to maintain an appropriate amount of hospital beds, the Legislature created the Master Plan in 2005, which called for the replacement of the Salem State Hospital and the construction of a new state hospital in Junction City. The lease for the Portland beds expires in 2015 and has been factored into the Master Plan, as well. I am focused on building a strong continuum of care for mental health needs that includes acute care bed capacity.

I believe strongly in an accessible, quality community mental health system and continue to advocate for resources to make that happen. I believe we need both – Salem/Junction City and community mental health resources and facilities.

Again, thank you for sharing your comments with me.

Best wishes,

Tina Kotek
Oregon State House Speaker

[ Below are comments from signers of our petition. ]

The planned hospital is an unnecessary expense of limited resources. “Waste not, want not,” my mother used to say as an adage.
Rebecca Burton

As a mental health RN, I oppose the building of another institutionalized mental hospital. The psych hospitals need to have a foundation of community and health, not bureaucracy.
John Edelen

This is important because that considering the direction we are going with integrative care and mental health, this is a step in the wrong direction. These funds should be used to enhance local resources
Stephen Kliewer

I am a member of the mental health community. What we need is neighborhood drop-in centers, not hospital building plan with these taxpayers’ dollars. With mental health services being cut, cut, cut, this proposed building is a travesty.
Marian Drake

We need the funds for wiser treatment options that really help people recover, not hospitals that isolate and institutionalize people!
Ron Unger

I was a “”patient”” in a CT. state hospital, and found it to be one of the most traumatic experiences possible. Look at the changes in the mental health system, including the rapid rejection of the DSMV, and truly help emotionally traumatized people rather than lock them up with idiotic diagnosis.
Hugh Massengill

Use what we already have which is close to people. Don’t make another one just to keep mental patients away from what you call normal people.
Adelaide Bochinski

Recovery is changing, with more humane ways like Open Dialogue and recovery through work.
Mary Saunders

As someone living with a mental illness, I know how imperative mental health treatment is. The treatment needs to be properly funded long before a patient is institutionalized. Put mental health treatment first. Don’t box us in.
Renee Ryan

Over the past several years I have written several Op Ed pieces opposing this project. It represents a huge, expensive and very “binding” step in the wrong direction for mental health services in Oregon. My pieces are archived at the Eugene Register-guard, the Eugene Weekly, the Junction City Tribune and the Oregonian, should you wish to read them. We need proactive community-based services and this commitment to the “most restrictive treatment setting” will preclude funding for those much needed services.
Gary Crum

Our son has schizophrenia. Twice committed by the state of Oregon, before his 21st birthday, he spent several months in POSH. We spent every weekend with him and attended all of his treatment meetings, and witnessed first hand the warehousing of, and lack of actual treatment for, the patients. By thier own admission, the best the staff could hope for was to keep the patients safe.

Smaller, community based housing facilities, and out patient care, are much better for the mentally diverse, giving them a sense of community, family and compassion that is sorely lacking in a large hospital setting. Mindfullness, inclusion and compassion are the word we need to equate with mental health. It appears that jobs and spending are the main concerns when it comes to the Junction City facility, and the needs of the patients is once again a secondary concern. We need to accept, embrace and include those of us who precieve the world differently than the main stream, instead of continuing to lock them away and keeping them “”out of sight, out of mind.

My wife and I spent hundreds of hours on the units at POSH, and we got to know both patients and staff. We have seen the institutionalization, disenfranchisement and trivialization of the mentally diverse that occurs there. There is a better way, if only our representatives were brave enough to make the right, as opposed to politically expedient, choices.

I urge my (and my son’s) representative and House Majority Leader, Val Hoyle, to rethink her position of doing what might be best for her politically, and to have the courage to do what is best for the mentally diverse who have, it would seem to this constituent, perhaps a greater right to the 79.4 million dollar allocation of construction bonds. Recovery does not happen in a hospital setting, and shouldn’t recovery at least be part of the discussion?
David Perham

I am a mental health provider and a sibling of a deceased brother with schizophrenia who suffered terribly for the years he was in and out of institutions. Dollars can be spent more economically and humanely serving people in their own communities rather than locking them away in isolated institutions.
Lisa Lieberman

From the looks of things it is plainly clear that this would re-create what was aptly named of the old State hospital in Salem back in the 1980s, which is Oregon State Hellhole Ward 40-B. This new facility would allow for the re-hiring of the hacks of back then who were psychologically abusive to the extremes towards me and other patients. not the least of which was Don Baldwin who in 1987 sat me down alone and told me, at age 14, that I would be there for the rest of my life and be buried on the property. The size of this proposed Junction City hospital would renew such abuses and no doubt be under-staffed which makes all the good staff leave.
Joshua Chies

Mental health dollars are more effectively and efficiently spent in community programs rather than large institutions such as the state hospital. Literally millions of dollars can be saved by funding Assertive Community Treatment programs and small 16 bed Residential and Secure Residential Treatment Facilities.
Marc Chinard

We need a psych facility in Portland not Junction City!!
Jamie Heitz

This facility would be difficult to visit because of its isolated location. Its size makes it inflexible and its appearance is institutional and frightening. I think we should listen to the mental health advocates and consumers urging Oregon to decline this project.
Holly Hein

My sister has been living with mental illness for 40 years and needs a community based work/home environment in the community to live. Let’s open community based living situations for the 1 in 4 living with mental illness sometime in their life time.
Wendy Sample

It’s difficult enough to get the right mix of mental health services without boondoggles like this. Please listen to the people who will be using the service.
Paul Komarek

Pendleton needs its current mental health facility, and an expansion of it should be considered. Perhaps all towns in Oregon need some sort of locked mental health facility. Please do not close the facility in Pendleton as its need is current and continuing.
Carter Kerns

Please use the funding for the new facility to increase community based capacity.
Mike Gregory

Use the wards that are available and save the taxpayer money.
Gary Heitz

Unnecessarily building the Junction City Hospital will take away necessary funding for community mental health services which is underfunded and much needed by a lot of people.
Duane Haataja

As the State of Oregon confronts the real challenge of achieving the Triple Aim, allocating money for a state hospital will not help us achieve positive outcomes or lower costs. A new state hospital does not fit with the healthcare transformation efforts in Oregon. Please devote this money to community based treatment based on the preferences and values of those who need them. Those of us with loved ones living with mental illnesses want and need our family members and friends here in the community with us. Please help us keep them here where they belong.
Robin Baker

We need more community care, not another state hospital.
Shanti Braford

They need to keep a facility in Portland, it’s the largest county in Oregon.
Patricia Baker

This is not progressive. Dollars will go farther by expanding community mental health and peer delivered services. this is a gross misunderstanding of the needs of this population, and Kitzhaber is totally rogue on this issue.
Kristi Jamison

Relative is mentally ill and may end up there some day. Geographically inconvenient.
John Hingson

If this hospital is built we will end up treating people with the most expensive option available, usually miles away from family support systems and deplete funding for community based care, leaving people trapped in a system without a way to reintegrate in the community. It is the wrong type of treatment option. There is a new hospital already built. We need care in the community to allow for a path of deinstitutionalization, not an over-priced warehouse (prison).
Don Moore

Locking people up and removing them from society is not treatment. It is punishment and people who are sick need help not expensive punishment.
Rachel Gill

Gathering people who are in need of more intensive treatment, care, and support from around the state and warehousing them in a single mega-facility is not trauma-informed, person-centered, or recovery-focused; it’s not even humane. Rather than investing limited monies in the construction and operation of JCOSH, we would do better to build multiple, smaller-capacity sites around the state where people (yes, I said “people”) can be served in the communities they call home, near their natural supports.
Malcolm Aquinas

Spend the money on smaller community based outreach programs.
William Nunemann

This money would be better spent on things like mental health drop in centers. We have a serious problem with institutionalizing and over medicating people in Oregon causing more extreme mental and physical health problems. Housing those diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder in institutions is not the answer.
Ronald Kraemer

With the continued cuts to mental health care that put people at risk of institutionalization I think it is imperative that we ensure that the facilities we have are utilized appropriately before spending money on new facilities that take more mental health consumers out of their communities and further from their support systems. Lets keep working with what we have and increasing the funding towards programs that support these individuals within their communities.
Shelby Koning

We need more peer services based in the community. A big box just sucks resources away from those that need help pre-crisis.
Scott Snedecor

What a wrong headed idea. Support community living. If this monster gets built we will have to spend the next century trying to close it.
Michael Bailey

More resources are needed in the community. If you build this facility, it will detract from the community. Congregating people and warehousing them is not trauma informed care.
Beckie Child

I am on the Advisory Council of the Mental Health Association of Portland and am against new hospital construction while existing facilities stand empty.
James Mazzocco

I work for city government and watch as those in charge seek to glorify their name and position by wasting taxpayers money. Their decisions don’t make sense but because they are Directors of Departments…No one questions them. State and Federal Government operates the same way. Someone always seems to have a hidden agenda for wasting millions. Why don’t we start saving some of the taxpayers money and utilize facilities that are already built instead of building new facilities to maintain?
Samuel Pagan

“The state hospitals in Oregon are corrupt.

Over-medicating ill persons with toxic chemicals and turning them into non functional people.

The system needs to be supportive of services in the community.

Multnomah county mental health needs a complete remake.

Fire all of the Multnomah county employees withholding services, fire the employees committing volunteer patients fire the count employees who are making, false allegations when family members challenge them.
We do not need any opportunity for more mental health abuse but we do need a outside agency, along with the mental health advocates to properly monitor the health workers in Oregon.

This is one big money making scam, there is no treatment in the state hospital.

It is abuse, neglect, fraud, and a slow torturous murder of the ill.

Jeri Olson

Smaller community based mental health programs that are easier to access are more cost effective and have better/long lasting impact. Please stop this.
Brenda Pearson

Taking people away from there support system is in and of it’s self wrong. Spending money of a building that holds hundreds, instead of investing in community infrastructure and programs that promote recovery are wrong headed and a waste. Living in denial of the harm institutionalization has on human dignity is dangerous.
Jeffrey Worthington

Oregon is stuck in a fear-based, protect the public at all costs mentality. The promise of the OSH Replacement Project was to follow Recovery Principles, but the new architecture obviously shows the claim for a holistic recovery hospital was just rhetoric. The USDOJ is in bed with the Oregon DHS/OHA/DOJ. It is very sad to see the Oregon Health Authority lead the way in promoting a whole new round of stigma focused to oppress Oreegonians with mental challenges. Do the right thing and repurpose Jct City funds to develop comprehensive community mental health programs. These big hospitals are obsolete and draconian because the medical model just loves to make money instead of delivering on their promise to provide real recovery services. Real recover services will happen when DHS/OHA partner with SAMSHA to develop authentic holistic/integrated treatment service collaboration.
Todd Trautner

The Junction City project seems like the perfect example of politicians not knowing what to do about a problem ( what to do about people with psych disabilities), so they JUST BUILD SOMETHING to point to in order to look like they did something. Nobody gains from this, and people in Eastern Oregon & the major metropolitan center of Portland lose by having to travel to an out of the way facility with fewer community resources. DUMB!
Grace Heckenberg

Because prevention and community-based treatment options work better than expensive institutionalized care. We need more funds for programs like CATC and the NorthStar clubhouse that helps people stay healthy so they don’t end up in the hospital. More funds for peer-delivered programs and recovery based care, not locking people up!
Amy Myers

This is a huge waste of taxpayer dollars. When Oregon is struggling to keep schools open, to repair roads and other infrastructure, why would you choose to spend money on this project? Moving the mentally ill away from the city removes them from family and access to nearby halfway houses in a city they are already comfortable in. The only reason I can see for this is to sell the land the current hospital is on for financial gain for developers and/or to move the mentally ill out of site, to a remote location. Please stop this project!
Kelly Keigwin

I am a firm believer of community mental health with supports.
Shela Silverman

It’s time to phase out prisons for psychiatric patients.
Randall Gicker

We need local beds, throughout the state
Glenn Koehrsen

I am a native Oregonian. I am finishing my PhD in clinical psychology and plan to return to Oregon. I want to see more robust community mental health.
Patrice Jacob

Rather than build something new, utilize and reuse what we have.
Julie Gambino

Our Oregon dollars need to be dedicated to community mental health programs. better to serve Oregonians with services in their local communities.
W. A. Mackay

My son, age 54, mentally ill since teenage, spent many months in Salem Hospital and subsequently was imprisoned at OSP for 17 years when innocent, due to ignorance of inadequate representation and the judicial system. After incarceration at age 19 and inhumane prison treatment, chances for a full recovery are slim. A remote hospital will preclude access by family & friends; a lock-up is like prison! And where are the millions it will take to sustain such an endeavor over the years? A boost in local support would provide best results, that’s where it all begins and the chances for best treatment and recover lies. What happened to the mandate for “COMMUNITY BASED TREATMENT” If Gov Kitzhaber endorses this, he will be such a great disappointment! What political group/person is he bending to???
Shirley Wilkes

I’ve thought a bit about why it is important to me to have localized facilities that are smaller. It is simple to me. If the need arises, where would I want to go?
Tiffany Ward

I work at the poorly designed state hospital in Salem which does not promote mental health and the design of junction city plan looks worse. Where are the trees and outdoor spaces?
Cary Fairchild

I am a Licensed Psychologist in Oregon. I know the research on evidence-based treatment for circumstances when a person succumbs to environmental factors and experiences extreme states. The research is clear that hospitalization beyond the acute phase of extreme states is not supported by research. What is indicated is the person to be initially treated in the community if possible; and if not, then returned to a community-based treatment with supports for developing more independent involvement in a home environment, a work situation, and/or school or training opportunities. Hospitalization is extremely expensive. Community-based services are less expensive and occur among the natural supports needed to sustain a person’s successful adjustment. I don’t like my tax dollars wasted on less effective treatment.
Jacek Haciak

A one-facility-fits-all approach to mental health is antiquated and inappropriate. I fervently support an evolution of mental healthcare, and this facility represents an embarrassing backslide for the state of Oregon.
Adie Poe