State By StateOregon

  • Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) spearheaded a substantial citizen engagement initiative around MINDS ON THE EDGE that included a well-attended screening event with key stakeholders as well as a powerful on-air PSA campaign designed to reduce stigma associated with mental illness.

  • An Advisory Group of local mental health advocates and professionals was convened to inform campaign messaging, formulate strategy and leverage local partnerships. The advisory group included representatives from Clark County Regional Support Network, Disability Rights Oregon, Mental Health of America Oregon Chapter, PEERLINK Mental Health Consumer Listserv, Multnomah County Department of Human Services, NAMI Oregon, Avel Gordly Center for Healing at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and St. Charles Medical Center. These organizations then worked together to plan and promote an evening screening event for high profile business leaders, law enforcement officials, educators, and other professionals involved in the mental health community.

  • The first event took place on October 8, 2009 at Oregon Public Broadcasting studios hosted by OPB President and CEO Steve Bass and attended by about 90 leaders in the mental health community. The event included a viewing of the full program followed by a one-hour panel discussion facilitated by David Miller, online host of OPB radio's morning talk show, Think Out Loud. Panelists included Chris Bouneff, Executive Director, NAMI Oregon; Danette Burchill, Clinical Director, Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU); Avel Gordly, Center for Healing; Beckie Child, Board President, Mental Health America of Oregon; Dr. Robin Henderson, Behavioral Health Services Director, St. Charles Medical Center; Sharon Gary Smith, Community/Consumer Affairs Director, Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare; Karl Brimner, Director, Mental Health and Addictions Services for Multnomah County Department of Human Services. The discussion focused on changing attitudes in the community to reduce stigmatization of people with mental illness. Major themes of the discussion included access to treatment, dignity, acceptance, innovative local programs, peer support, and funding priorities.

    An invitation flier was distributed through e-lists.

  • OPB also produced two powerful on-air spots that focused on diversity, dignity and positive role models of people with mental illnesses to reduce stigma and promote the concept of recovery. These spots were frequently aired on OPB and helped to promote the program premiere, which achieved a significant audience increase over the average primetime rating. The PSAs and the full program also streamed on a special MINDS ON THE EDGE web section of that featured additional information on mental illness in Oregon as well as links to consumer resources.

    OPB Reports: the MINDS ON THE EDGE public engagement project was a success. In the last few years, news about mental illness in Oregon has been dominated by the failures of our state hospital system and by the 2006 death of a man with mental illness who was being restrained by the Portland Police.

    The MINDS ON THE EDGE engagement effort allowed OPB to connect proactively with the mental health community in a dialogue that centered on treatment and recovery, not emotionally-charged crises. We were able to bring together diverse communities, provide needed information about mental illness in Oregon, and offer alternative viewpoints. Giving voice to this community will result in a more-informed public debate about how to meet the needs of all Oregonians.

  • The Mental Health Action Group of Portland sponsored a second event on October 29, 2009 at the First Unitarian Church Sanctuary. A panel discussion followed the screening of MINDS ON THE EDGE. Panelists included Chris Bouneff, Executive Director of NAMI-Oregon; Joanne Fuller, Director, Multnomah County Department of Human Services; Bob Joondeph, Executive Director, Disability Rights Oregon; Thomas Welch, MD and Dan Mooty, Community Engagement Program-Central City Concern.

    Helen Gerhardt, Chair, Mental Health Action Group reports:
    Our goal with this program is to encourage an informed and respectful community dialogue about the many issues people face when confronted with mental illness and the reality of our society's response to it.

  • In Portland, NAMI WALK Team Captain Lisa Macks is planning screenings in her corporate office cafeteria and at five are hospitals to generate awareness, interest and participation in the May 2010 NAMI Walk.

  • In EUGENE, NAMI members hosted a house party during Mental Illness Awareness Week in October, 2009, added MINDS ON THE EDGE to the NAMI affiliate's "lending library" and featured the program in their September 2009 newsletter.

  • In West Lane County, NAMI on October 4, 2009 hosted a screening of MINDS ON THE EDGE during Mental Illness Awareness Week and invited the program director of the county mental health agency to facilitate the discussion.

  • NAMI LANE COUNTY held a screening of MINDS ON THE EDGE Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at the Lane County Mental Health Building. Al Levine, Manager of Behavioral Services, moderated the viewing, spearheading a stimulating discussion including a Q and A.