January 30, 2019

Legislative and Policy Priorities


AOCMHP budget priority areas

  • Increased investments in community-based services for individuals who have been civilly committed or found to be unable to aid and assist in their own defense. Due to the ongoing increase in the number of individuals in the “aid and assist” population, and recent federal court orders, the demand for community restoration services provided by CMHPs has increased. CMHPs play a pivotal role in ensuring these individuals receive the services they need and can be restored to competency in their community. Additionally, because the Oregon State Hospital is not admitting many people under civil commitment, and revised rules will not allow CMHPs to drop civil commitments if they are not able to find suitable placements, CMHPs will need more resources than ever for outpatient civil commitments and sufficient residential and housing capacity to help people restore and recover in their communities.  
  • Additional funding for mobile crisis services to ensure successful implementation of the 988/crisis response system and state retention of enhanced federal matching funds. CMHPs provide mobile crisis response in every county in Oregon. Oregon’s mobile crisis system has already begun to see increased demand due to more community needs and the rollout of the nationwide 988 crisis number. CMHPs have been working closely with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to assess the additional investment needed to meet both the increased demand and the requirements of the Federal Crisis Now model. It is likely that more general funds will be needed to ensure that statewide mobile crisis services can effectively operate 24/7 and meet the needs of the new 988 system.
  • Continued investment in behavioral health residential treatment: There is a growing number of people in Oregon who need behavioral health services in a residential or supported housing setting but the behavioral health system does not currently have the capacity to meet the demand. Community-based placements, from secure residential treatment facilities to supported housing, are necessary to ensure that Oregonians experiencing mental illness and substance use disorders can receive the services they need in the appropriate setting. In 2021, the Legislature made investments to begin developing these placements, but more funding is needed to continue building out the infrastructure necessary to meet the need.
  • Workforce is our most important resource in the public behavioral health system. The position vacancy is as high as 50% in some critical areas like crisis intervention and in services for people involved in the justice system. We are starting to see the impact of the first round of workforce investments with positions being filled and critical workers staying. It will take 5-10 years to catch up with the demand, and in order to retain the mission-driven workforce we have and entice others to make the commitment to the public BH system, we need a second round of investments.

AOCMHP 2023 BH Legislative Agenda Flyer
SB 1044 Written Testimony
HB 2757 – Implementing 988


DD Coalition Legislative Advocacy