Senator Wyden meets with Umatilla County leaders to discuss mental health crisis response

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden stopped by the Umatilla Courthouse on Saturday afternoon to hear from elected county leaders and others about how they are currently responding to mental health crises in rural Oregon.

The purpose of the meeting was to learn more about how Senator Wyden’s Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets Act (CAHOOTS) can support Eastern Oregon’s mental health response efforts.

The bill allows “state Medicaid programs to cover certain community-based mobile crisis intervention services for people experiencing a mental health or substance-use disorder crisis outside of a facility setting.”

“Law enforcement and mental health are making it clear as they did today that they want to work together and under my law the federal government will essentially fund states and local communities essentially withy 85 cents on the dollar for programs where mental health folks and law enforcement folks can work together,” Senator Wyden said.

During the meeting, mental health professionals, law enforcement, tribal representatives and school officials spoke on rural Oregon’s recent increase in mental health issues and lack of resources.

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