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Portland Mental Health: A Silent Predator

Mental health is still gravely considered taboo in our culture.

Society teaches us to approach mental health issues with hesitation, skepticism, fear – even revulsion and reproach in extreme cases. But why are the mentally ill considered the untouchables of the afflicted? Is it because mental illness is such an ambiguous affliction – a silent predator that suffocates its victims and can seem innocuous from the outside? Is it because mental illness often walks hand-in-hand with addiction? Do we simply write off the mentally ill as unstable weaklings who self-medicate because they simply lack the strength and resolve to approach their problems with clarity?

The truth is, mental illness is not innocuous because it is silent. It is a real issue that has attracted attention at the federal level. Let’s take a look at trends in Oregon and Portland mental health:

The statistics are disconcerting:

❖ One in 18.5 adult Oregonians suffers from a mental illness;
❖ One in about 9 children in Oregon suffer from severe emotional disturbance;
❖ Heroin-related deaths continue to ascend in Oregon;
❖ Suicide is the leading cause of death among Oregon veterans aged 45 and younger;
❖ Portland suicides are three times the national rate, according to the PPB.

And we’re still head-shy about this frightening topic.

Awareness has circulated in the last 3-5 years surrounding debilitating emotional difficulties in adults and children. These difficulties make functioning in traditional society unattainable or impossible. They also breed drug and alcohol addiction at a prolific rate.

You may have read in July of this year that Oregon received a federal infusion of funding to boost current, and encourage the creation of, initiatives and programs designed to combat mental illness statewide.

Seven Oregon health centers are splitting 1.7 million dollars to expand mental health services:

❖ more than 800,000 Oregonians will receive benefit of these services;
❖ health centers will use funding to recruit top talent and integrate primary care;
❖ Over 311,000 patients are currently treated by health centers statewide. The additional funding ensures more communities will be reached.

Portland mental health programs – from Central City Concern to Native American Rehabilitation Center, Inc., received benefit of funds.

This is just the beginning of concentrated efforts targeting mental health issues.

Victims of mental health issues often do not know where to turn. Lifeline Connections is a trusted resource in the Portland metro area that can help families connect with their affected loved ones. Contact us at (360) 397-8246 to learn more about our services or visit our website today.

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