Our Letter to Ted Wheeler

Chair Ted Wheeler
Multnomah County Board of County Commissioners
501 SE Hawthorne, Suite 600
Portland, OR 97214


Dear Ted,

This letter is a formal and public invitation to attend a public meeting to discuss the decision of the County Commission on October 3 to not endorse a proposal to create a psychiatric sub-acute facility, as defined in Commissioner Lisa Naito’s proposal.

We hope to hear your plans at this meeting to make the opening of a psychiatric sub-acute facility a high priority.

Opening a psychiatric sub-acute facility in Multnomah County was a key recommendation of Tom Potter’s Mental Health / Public Safety Initiative, which you helped form and were a member. The Mental Health / Public Safety Initiative formed one year ago in the wake of the death of James Chasse in September 2006. Its purpose was to take immediate actions to improve how the local and regional mental health and public safety systems work together.

Since the closing of the Crisis Triage Center in 2003, people with mental illness, their friends and family members, mental health clinicians, first responders and variety of others have experienced or witnessed a high number of bad outcomes which could have been avoided had a psychiatric sub-acute facility been an option.

Because of this discrepancy between public interest and the decision of the Commission, we hope as Chair of the Commission you are willing to meet with interested persons, speak about your decision, and listen to the experience and concerns of your constituents.

If you’re willing to attend a public meeting, help make this meeting meaningful to a majority of interested persons by agreeing to hold the meeting in a sufficiently large and public place, with immediate access to public transit, that the meeting take place in the early evening, and, finally that the meeting be videotaped and the videotape be broadcast immediately and indefinitely via the County web site.

Thanks so much for your time and quick response.

Roy Silberstein, President