November 15, 2023 | Breaking Through Psychosis: Searching for Solutions to the Crisis on Portland’s Streets

Psychosis stemming from untreated mental illness and drug use is increasingly overwhelming the region’s behavioral health system. Patients in acute crisis tax the capacity of local hospitals and a criminal justice system that are ill equipped to serve them, while the state psychiatric hospitals struggle with a lack of treatment options and a revolving door.

Join our panel of experts, who work on the frontlines of this crisis, as they delve into real solutions that could ease pressure points in the system and finally start delivering help to all those who need it.


Emily Harris, Reporter, Axios
An award-winning journalist with global, national and local experience, currently covering her hometown for the daily newsletter Axios Portland.


Sharon Meieran, MD, JD, Multnomah County Commissioner, District 1
As an emergency physician, volunteer providing medical care to people living unsheltered, and former attorney, Commissioner Meieran’s unique experience informs her work as a policy maker at the intersection of mental health, addiction, homelessness, and public safety. She is a systems thinker dedicated to improving the wellbeing of her community.

Judge Waller, Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge
Currently presides over the Mental Health Court and Competency dockets, co-chair of the Chief Justice’s Behavioral Health Advisory Committee.

Lielah Leighton LCSW, Interim Program Manager, Portland Street Response (PSR)
Former PSR Crisis Responder, Multnomah County Civil Commitment Investigator, Mobile Crisis Clinician with Project Respond, and ED Social Worker at OHSU. Current Social Work PhD student at Portland State University focusing on critical suicidology and anti-carceral crisis response.

Robin Henderson, PsyD, Chief Executive of Behavioral Health, Providence Oregon
Providence Oregon Behavioral Health Chief Executive, Chief Clinical Officer for Work2BeWell, past president of the NAMI Oregon board where she still serves, the children’s System of Care Advisory Council, past Chair of CCO Oregon, past president of the Oregon Psychological Association where she continues to serve on the Legislative Committee.

Jonathan R. Mroz, MA, Communications Specialist, Central City Concern
A social scientist, former educator and intelligence and policy analyst with lived experience participating as a private citizen.

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