Mary Monnat is the CEO of LifeWorks NW, meeting the behavioral health needs of thousands of Oregonians and their families. Mary has for many years been a leading light in Oregon’s behavioral health community – bringing innovation and effectiveness and always a smile to every project she launches. And Mary has been a partner Lines for Life can rely on for much of our history. Mary’s contributions to Lines for Life are hard to summarize in brief, but one watershed innovation bears mention: Mary brought LifeWorks to Lines for Life as our very first contract client for crisis intervention services. We followed the model we established with Mary into one of our most important services – we now serve nearly 20 partners, providing crisis intervention services to health care systems, behavioral health providers, a tribal nation and many others. Thanks Mary for helping us lead the way!
As part of our integration of behavioral and physical healthcare, we have adopted the Carequality interoperability framework, powered by the Netsmart network, to enhance data sharing across provider networks. Read the full press release, here.
LifeWorks NW’s participation in the federal Certified Community Behavioral Health Center (CCBHC) demonstration project launched earlier this year.
CCBHCs are a vehicle for expanded access to intensive community-based services for individuals with untreated severe mental illness or addiction. Recent estimates indicate that only 43.1 percent of all people living with serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorders and major clinical depression receive behavioral health care; the remainder are served in homeless shelters, Medicaid financed hospital emergency rooms, and penal institutions, which serve as the largest inpatient psychiatric facilities in the United States. Only 1 in 10 Americans with an addiction receive treatment in any given year. CCBHCs were established to fill the gap in unmet need and expand access to community- based treatment for these populations.
Oregon’s participation in the demonstration began in April 2017. In November 2017, the National Council for Behavioral Health surveyed CCBHCs about the impact of their participation in the program to date; 48 of the 67 participating CCBHCs across the United States provided responses, including eight of the twelve CCBHCs in Oregon. This report highlights Oregon-specific impacts of the CCBHC demonstration project as of November 2017.
Portland’s Original Iron Chef, our fundraising event to support Children’s Relief Nurseries, takes place Thursday, Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. at the Portland Art Museum. Helping to promote the event — and the fight against child abuse and neglect — KGW TV’s afternoon lifestyle show, Portland Today, featured our organization and the event on its show Wednesday, Oct. 11. Watch Mary Monnat chat with Cathy Marshall and two of the participating chefs preview their cuisine. Click the events tab on our home page to find out more about the event and purchase tickets.
LifeWorks NW has joined Health Share of Oregon’s new network of care to support recovery options for Portland Metro Area individuals living with substance use disorders. Led by Health Share, Central City Concern and CODA, Inc., the network—called Wheelhouse—also includes Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare, De Paul Treatment Centers and Sequoia Mental Health Services, Inc. Read the full press release here: Media Release – Wheelhouse Spokes Announcement.
The National Institute of Mental Health defines schizophrenia as a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling.
Schizophrenia has a long history of stigma associated with it. It is common for affected families to conceal the illness from relatives, friends and workplace associates. And, stigma may prevent people with the disorder from accessing the type of support they need to manage their illness and lead to feelings of social isolation and loneliness, not to mention discrimination in housing, education and employment.
In reality, many people with schizophrenia are able to live stable and productive lives with the help of regular medication, psychosocial interventions and support. Our client, Martha, is one example.
Martha initially came to LifeWorks NW for employment support. She had been chronically unemployed, but did not think she had an illness. Through a collaborative effort, our team helped Martha, starting with counseling and medication. As her condition stabilized, the Supported Employment team joined the effort to continue Martha’s road to restored wellbeing. And, that resulted in Martha eventually securing a job – one that she has now held for two years.
“I can take care of myself,” Martha expressed. “The main reason I first came to LifeWorks NW was to find a job so I could feel less dependent on others. Now, I feel like I can be successful in my job, while managing my illness.”
Indeed, Martha has achieved great success. In May 2017, she received an outstanding performance review and a pay raise at work. What’s even more exciting for her, she recently was able to travel to Hawaii to visit with her daughter and grandson!
Martha’s story is a testament to our motto, “Life works when you get the support you need.”
At the recent passing of Holy Cross Fr. Donald McNeill, an article about his life ran in the National Catholic Reporter. It featured a reflection by LifeWorks NW CEO Mary Monnat on Fr. McNeill’s influence in her life. Read it here.
It’s never easy being out of work. When a few months stretches into three years, it’s even harder. Add to that hitting 60 years old without a job, feeling hopeless seems understandable.
Greg was in that situation. “I had been out of work for three years,” he explained. “I couldn’t seem to land a job and felt like I was just wasting time not doing much of anything.” Greg’s avocation for creating ceramic artworks occupied some of this time, but sales of his pieces weren’t enough to pay the bills; much less, any extras.
When Greg connected with LifeWorks NW, he was admittedly, “very depressed.” But, through the efforts of the Supported Employment program team, things began to look up for Greg.
“We started out talking with Greg, listening to his life stories and learning more about him,” offered Michelle, a LifeWorks NW Supported Employment specialist. “Eventually, in addition to counseling, we connected Greg with support groups and employment resources.
That new direction began the turnaround for Greg. Michelle continued, “His attitude began to change. He became more talkative, even joking with others. Plus, with a newfound positivity, he began to venture out to seek work.”
It wasn’t long before Greg found what he’d been looking for: a steady job! He was hired as a part time gas station attendant, but after only one week of work his manager praised his strong work ethic and promoted Greg to full time!
Even as he continues to use LifeWorks NW services, Greg is making good connections through his work and reports being happier and sleeping better.“ I look forward to waking up,” Greg shared. “Work has totally changed my life; it lifts me up! Now, I feel like I am on top of the world!”
Read the article on HISTalk Practice featuring an interview with LifeWorks NW’s Vice President of Clinical Services, Mark Lewinsohn.
By empowering the public, Washington County aims to support people in the throes of a mental health crisis.
Read an article in the Thursday, July 27 edition of the Hillsboro Tribune about the Hawthorn Walk-In Center and our work with Washington County to address suicide prevention.