mental health

Update: Police in Oregon say 1 student was killed in this morning's school shooting. The gunman is also dead.

Northwest mental health experts are cautiously optimistic about a new federal grant program. But they call it a modest attempt to improve mental health care in rural areas.

In 2009, the state was sued by advocates representing children on Medicaid who have schizophrenia, depression and other mental illnesses. The advocates argued that the Department of Social and Health Services wasn’t providing sufficient home based services to help keep them stable.

This year in the Oregon legislature, there was a big push to dramatically boost funding for mental health programs. The effort was spurred on by mass shootings in Connecticut and Oregon. But mental health advocates say in the end, the legislature fell far short of the game-changer they hoped for.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

The Oregon teenager accused of plotting an attack on his high school has obsessive-compulsive disorder brought on in a rare way: a strep infection. That's according to his mother. 

After last December’s mass shootings in Oregon and Connecticut, Democrats and Republicans in the Oregon legislature called for increased funding for mental health care. Now, there’s a proposal under discussion that would expand such programs in a big way, but it remains caught up in a debate over how to fund it. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman spoke with one lawmaker for whom mental health care is a very personal issue.

  OLYMPIA, Wash. – Health care advocates are pushing Washington state lawmakers to keep up momentum toward expanding access to Medicaid. About 100 people rallied on the Capitol steps in Olympia Thursday. They argue one group that will especially benefit is people with mental illness.

John Ryan / Northwest News Network

The Tea Party has become a fixture in American politics. But the Sanka Party? Not so much. Other than an interest in hot beverages, the two activist groups have little in common. The Sanka Party got started last summer near Tacoma, Wash., in the unlikeliest of places: inside the walls of the state’s largest psychiatric institution.

SALEM, Ore. – One of the most influential state lawmakers in Salem wants Oregon to make what he calls a “game-changing” investment in community mental health services. Democratic Senate President Peter Courtney proposes a dedicated tax or fee to cover the expense.

According to the Oregon Health Authority, fewer than half of adults who need mental health treatment actually get it. The number is even lower for young people.

Shootings Push Mental Health Into Spotlight In Salem

Jan 23, 2013
Photo by Steve Morgan / Wikimedia Commons

Recent mass shootings in Oregon and Connecticut have thrust mental health issues into the spotlight. Some Oregon lawmakers and mental health advocates hope there's enough momentum to keep the conversation front and center. Unlike gun control, there is a consensus that appears to be emerging on funding mental health programs.

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