Our History

Serving the Portland Area for Over 60 Years

Since 1961, LifeWorks NW has been working tirelessly to provide mental health services for people throughout the Portland area. Despite hitting our 60th anniversary on February 16, 2021, we’re not feeling old! And we are looking toward the next 60 years with great hope and excitement.

Our agency has been through so many changes over the years, and who better to tell that history than our former staff? We sat down with a few of them to learn how we've grown, changed and improved. See their stories above. We also talked with current employees, like Diane Benavides Wille.

A Dedication to Our Mission

Our mission has always been to provide the highest quality, culturally responsive behavioral health care possible throughout the lifespan.

Throughout the years, we’ve treated our biggest challenges as our greatest opportunities. Recently, the global pandemic led us to create new opportunities for Telehealth and remote support. Then nationwide racial inequity led us to work harder than ever to eliminate systemic racism and create our own antiracist, equity-driven culture. Now we’re looking forward, ready to tackle whatever obstacles come our way.

Our History

In 1961 we were formed in Beaverton as Tualatin Valley Child Guidance Center, with $40,000 in seed money from Tektronix at the direction of CEO Jack Murdock. Our goal was to offer community-based services for children with mental health challenges and help prevent psychiatric hospitalization for Washington County children.

Over the years, we added adult mental health and addiction services, services for children and adolescents, walk-in and mobile crisis programs, family and individual community-based support programs, and peer-delivered services.

Here’s a brief timeline of the major changes we’ve undergone:

  • 1961: Founded as Tualatin Valley Child Guidance Center
  • 1977: Changed name to Tualatin Valley Mental Health Center, added alcohol treatment services for adults
  • 1995: Name shortened to Tualatin Valley Centers
  • 1997: Merged with Mainstream Youth Program in Multnomah County
  • 2002: Merged with Center for Community Mental Health
  • 2004: Changed name to LifeWorks NW, merged with Project Network
  • 2010: Expanded services to Clackamas County
  • 2012: Merged with Children’s Relief Nursery

Today, we have outpatient and residential sites and serve clients in school-based and local health clinics. Health partners Virginia Garcia, NARA, Wallace, Neighborhood Health Clinics and Genoa Healthcare offer services inside our clinics to help us ensure holistic, whole-person care for all.

Looking Toward the Future

We are eager to see where the next 60 years takes us. Right now, we have almost 20 sites across the Tri-County area and serve approximately 30,000 consumers a year.

Despite many changes, our commitment to prevention, mental health and addiction services that promote a healthy community has never wavered. Buildings change, programs grow and global health may affect us. But no matter how we provide our services, we are committed, now and always to well-being for all.

Do you or someone you know need help? Find one of our locations near you: