Tag Archives: Richard Harris

Mental health care funds left behind in the recovery

In February, Chris Bouneff got a phone call from a man whose wife has bipolar disorder. She had been managing it well with private health care, the caller said, but then the couple both lost their jobs, and their insurance was about to lapse. He wanted to know where else they could go for the mental health services his wife needed.

“He’s calling, saying, ‘What do I do?'” recounted Bouneff, who is the executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ Oregon branch. “What do you say to someone like that? ‘Sorry’?”

Continue reading

Richard Harris takes on Oregon’s mental health and addictions division

Post Oct. 24, 2008

By Amanda Waldroupe
Contributing Writer

The Oregon office of Addictions and Mental Health Division is moving and shaking.
On September 12, it was announced that Richard Harris, 68, the retiring executive director of Central City Concern, would replace Bob Nikkel and serve as interim director of the division.

Tapping Harris to head the Addictions and Mental Health office, which is a division within the state’s Department of Human Services, is nothing short of bold: His admirers say Harris is perhaps the only person in the state who has the integrity and experience to tackle the challenges facing Oregon’s mental health and drug treatment systems.

Some of those challenges include a dilapidated state hospital that was taken through the wringer by an investigation conducted by the Department of Justice released in January of this year, determining the future of Cascadia after its April financial implosion, bolstering the state’s community health systems, and all in times of scarce financial resources.

Harris has a solution, one that he has found working for Central City Concern for 29 years.  The social service agency’s nationally recognized way of providing alcohol, addiction and mental health services—combining supportive services with housing in a supportive community—is a model he hopes to begin replicating at the state level.

Harris started the job on Monday, September 29.  In an interview with Street Roots, Harris talked about his plans for being interim director and some of the challenges he faces.

More after the jump. Continue reading

Extra! Extra!

October 2, 2008

The new Street Roots hits the streets tomorrow. Buy a new copy from your local and friendly neighborhood vendor. You won’t be disappointed.

Amanda Waldroupe gets the scoop with Richard Harris, the former Executive Director of Central City Concern. Harris is now heading up the Addiction and Mental Health Division with the State of Oregon and hopes to change the cultural of the states mental health delivery systems.

The sit-lie ordinance is ruled constitutional. A local judge likens the statute to public safety laws regarding bicycling. Find out what went down in the courtroom and why attorneys are appealing the decision.

Michael Munk, the local author of Portland’s Red Guide talks Marxism, the Rose City’s radical past and where the Left fairs today.

Another installment of Tye Doudy’s Addict’s Almanac brings us a bit closer to the realities of life as a junkie.

Readers respond to Addicts Almanac, hundreds of activists squat Seattle’s parks, Michael Anderson is hired as the Oregon Opportunity Network’s Executive Director, and Soup Can Sam gives you something extra to think about.