Key Mental Health Item in Portland Police Reform Plan Not a Sure Thing


When Portland’s mayor announced the city’s plan to address federal concerns about police treatment of people in mental health crisis, he highlighted a key feature: a drop-off or walk-in center where police could take patients in need. He said a center would open in mid-2013. The issue is far from settled, The Oregonian reports. Leaders of the health care organizations that Mayor Sam Adams said would open the centers say they haven’t ironed out what one would look like, where it would be, how it would be funded or even whether such a facility is the best solution. Other mental health providers called the deadline unrealistic.

“How this effort will be funded is a good question, and we don’t have an answer to that right now,” said Janet Meyer, interim chief executive office of Health Share of Oregon. Health Share is one of the state’s two new coordinated care organizations for Multnomah County — a network of health care providers to serve people under the Oregon Health Plan. “To have something as complex as a drop-off center organized, established and operational by mid-2013 seems, quite frankly, beyond what would be considered possible,” said Derald Walker of Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare.

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