Mental Health America of Oregon Receives $250,000 Grant from Clackamas County

Funding will help people who have a history of addiction or are currently dealing with such issues and may be involved with the criminal justice system.

OPINION -- As Interim Executive Director of Mental Health America of Oregon, I am pleased to announce that the agency’s proposal to Clackamas County Behavioral Health to provide peer support has been funded at a level of $250,000 per year. We will serve a variety of individuals who have a history of or are currently addressing addiction issues including those who may be at risk of addiction. They may be involved with the criminal justice system, be returning to the community from jail and state correctional facilities, inpatient treatment and/or have children in the child welfare system. Many will have a history of mental health challenges.

Services will be provided by a great team of Peer Support Specialists who have experienced similar life events, are well into their recovery, and have completed a state approved curriculum for this work. Objectives are to reinforce the concepts of self-directed care, inspire hope and a belief in recovery, and assist with family reunification, social skills, education, job search assistance, and referral to support services.

 MHAO is working on an ancillary grant to fund life enrichment and family activities that lead to personal growth and recovery and a strengthening of family bonds. Examples include opportunities to create art, learn storytelling, and take children to events and attractions.

Our Peer Support Specialist Team is comprised of:

Janie Marsh, Director of Peer Delivered Services (January, 2015). Janie has experience as a PSS, Forensic Peer Specialist, QMHA, and Community Support & Integration Teams Coordinator for Yamhill County Behavioral Health and Project Assistant at MHAO. Currently Janie is completing her first semester at Lewis and Clark’s Professional Counseling Mental Health & Addictions graduate school program.

Jaclyn Bell, QMHA, ACCBO Certified Recovery Mentor, brings 12 years of a diverse medical background and three years of Peer Support experience with her. Jaclyn specialized in family reunification as well as in-reach inside the jails and outreach into the community to provide support to individuals working on their recovery journey in the areas of criminality, addiction, and mental health.

Sean Syrek, PSS, has a Bachelor’s of Science in Biological Sciences and Psychology at Cal Polytechnic State University (SLO) and has a teaching background in these areas as well. Sean brings extraordinary lived experience, a story of hope and resiliency, and looks forward to sharing this with the people he will be serving.

Jessica Carroll, PSS, is an enrolled member of the Osage Nation, has a Bachelor’s of Psychology from Portland State University, and is currently completing her first semester at Lewis and Clark’s Professional Counseling Mental Health & Addictions graduate school program. Jessica has experience working in the area of suicide awareness and prevention in Native American communities and mentoring college students.

The contract begins in January 2015. 


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