mental health

Program Date: March 19, 2021

Air Date: March 22, 2021

From The City Club of Eugene:

A 2019 report from the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission found that Oregon “ranks among the most challenged states in the nation for substance abuse and mental health problems, while at the same time ranking among the worst states for access and engagement with care.”

Noah Silliman / Unsplash

The rate of young people with urgent mental health needs has increased, including in Eugene-Springfield. A new program aims to help.

Brian Bull / KLCC

This past year has been hard for everyone, including those who work to provide comfort and assurance to those in crisis.

Chris Lehman / KLCC

Oregon cities are asking state lawmakers to come up with a way to help utility customers to catch up on paying their bills.



Even in the best of times, holidays can be stressful. Add a global pandemic and social isolation to the mix and you could have the recipe for high anxiety or deep depression. KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert spoke to a mental health expert about facing hard choices and finding balance.


Even in the best of times, holidays can be stressful. Add a global pandemic and social isolation to the mix and you could have the recipe for high anxiety or deep depression. KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert spoke to a mental health expert about facing hard choices and finding balance.

Andy Nelson / The Register-Guard

Few people were ready for what 2020 had in store. A pandemic, protests, economic distress and in much of Oregon, wildfires. Such crises can take a toll on our mental health.


Lane County

The Lane County Equity and Access advisory board hosted an online public forum for community members to talk about mental health on Tuesday.

Dr. Patricia Hasbach

Coping with a global pandemic has been new territory for all of us. The unknown is scary. Change is hard. To preserve public health, we’ve made drastic changes to work and daily life. And now—as we’ve learned to adapt –we are asked to change our behavior again. Therapists say all this can take a toll on our mental health. In these stressful times, KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert discovered, there is help out there.

Lane County

As we ride out the COVID-19 pandemic together,  people may experience a variety of emotions or symptoms. This includes anger, anxiety, nightmares, and insomnia. Lane County Public Health's Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Coodinator says this is a normal response and offered some ways to cope.

Vista Counseling

I don’t think I’m alone in admitting that these last few weeks have been rough. My moods swing from focused and productive, to sheer panic. So, I phoned a friend.

Brian Bull / KLCC

With Oregon’s schools shut down at least through March, a phone counseling service for young students is making sure its staff remains available.

Tiffany Eckert

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month and each week KLCC has been addressing a topic surrounding mental health from a local perspective. This week, we’re talking about decriminalizing mental illness and the importance of community.

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. Each week, KLCC addresses a topic surrounding mental health from a local perspective. This week, we’re talking about the mental health of children in Lane County.

Tiffany Eckert

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. Over the coming weeks, KLCC will address a variety of topics surrounding mental health from a local perspective. This week, we look at how Lane County Public Health works to prevent and treat mental health issues in a diverse population.   

Angela Kellner / KLCC

All 241 of Oregon's incorporated citites, both urban and rural, are members of the organization.

White Bird Clinic's website.

A mobile crisis counseling service is making itself available to more area high schools this fall. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

Kat_Northern_Lights_Man /

Two organizations have given more than half a million dollars to help homeless people in Lane County suffering from mental illness or chronic health problems.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports on today’s press conference. 

Oregon Dept of Transportation /

This week in Corvallis, several medical, law enforcement and mental health organizations are gathered for crisis intervention training.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports,  coordinators say it’s the first such event in Benton County.

CAHOOTS Will Now Operate 24/7 In Eugene

Jan 1, 2017
White Bird Clinic

As mental health services are getting cut, one vital resource in Eugene is expanding. CAHOOTS crisis assistance will now operate 24-hours a day.

Shanda Miller

One in 35 Lane County adults has a severe or persistent mental illness. That’s according to a community mental health program audit released this month.'s Alachua County

A new court launched this week in Lane County.  It’ll divert people with mental illness away from the standard criminal justice system.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports: 

Lane County Public Health is getting the word out---mental health is just as important as physical well-being. KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert reports on a community-wide project that encourages every citizen to “mind your mind.”

A Portland-based agency announced today it is closing all of its Lane County programs serving people with developmental disabilities.

Albertina Kerr operates 8 group homes in Lane County and provides community inclusion programs.

In a statement, Albertina Kerr CEO Chris Krenk said it is difficult to operate the programs from the Portland headquarters. He added it is hard to recruit and retain staff, and funding issues have increased fiscal challenges.

Next week, “frontline” workers like surgical support aides and housekeepers at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Hospitals in Eugene and Springfield will vote whether or not to unionize.

Chris Tonry has worked in patient admissions at Sacred Heart for 36 years. She has never been a part of union. Next week, she plans to check the “yes” box to join Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 49. Tonry believes a union could help with inadequate pay raises and understaffing.


The man fatally shot by a Eugene Police officer Monday was an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan in 2006. The Chief of Police spoke publicly about the incident Wednesday.

Eugene Police were called to the home of 49-year-old Brian Babb by his therapist who said the veteran was in emotional distress and suicidal. He had fired a shot inside the home. Nobody was injured. His roommate safely got out after police arrived in an armored vehicle. Police Chief Pete Kerns says while assessing the situation with a crisis negotiator, Babb allegedly came to the front door with a rifle.

A Eugene-based secure residential treatment center for the mentally ill was closed Monday after state officials suspended its license. The patients were taken to other facilities.

The ShelterCare Heeran Center Residence on Coburg Road housed 12 adults who required “high levels of psychiatric treatment.”  

Caregivers at a non-profit that runs group homes around the state began mediation today (Monday). The Lane County union is concerned about job cuts, while administrators say their numbers are sufficient. The employees held a rally this (Monday) morning in Eugene.

Albertina Kerr is based in Portland. It serves youth and adults with developmental disabilities and mental health issues. The Eugene office employs about 65 care givers. With the Raging Grannies singing in the background, union president Linda Peterson says staffing issues are more important than salary:

Karen Richards

The new Oregon State Hospital in Junction City hosted public tours today (Thursday). Approved by the State Legislature in 2007, the campus is nearly ready to accept patients.

The state-run psychiatric hospital has the capacity to house 174 people. It will offer treatment to adults who are civilly or criminally committed.

Greg Roberts is Superintendent of the Oregon State Hospital. He says philosophies have changed since he started working in mental health in the 1970s. Then, people often remained in the institutions for life:

Angela Kellner

A new clinic offering a one-stop shop to treat substance abuse, mental health and primary care held a grand opening in downtown Eugene Thursday.

Willamette Family is a non-profit that has been in the Eugene area for fifty years. It offers residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment, detox and help for families. Now they've opened a Rapid Access Clinic for walk-ins or appointments. Senior Manager Jonathan Smith.