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We believe that the current drug-based paradigm of care has failed our society, and that scientific research, as well as the lived experience of those who have been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, calls for profound change.

Crisis In Our City

This is from an October 1st article in the NY Times by Eli Saslow. It is about Michael Bock, who works in Portland as a private security guard.  If anyone doesn't understand the crisis facing our city, all you need do is read this entire article. 

In Portland, a record-breaking number of daily emergencies has strained every part of the system: 911 hold times have quintupled since 2019, the average police response has slowed to nearly an hour, firefighters work overtime to handle more overdoses than actual fires, and each week there are no ambulances left to respond to hundreds of medical emergencies.


“Our entire first responder system in this city, according to the people who run it, is 20 years behind the ball and critically understaffed,” the mayor said last year at a City Council meeting. The city itself had increasingly turned to the same Band-Aid fix as everyone else, spending more than $4 million a year on private security guards to help protect parks, water treatment facilities, parking garages and city hall......


There was Stephanie, who sometimes stole diapers for a newborn baby that existed only in her mind; and Christopher, whom Bock had resuscitated after an overdose only to see him smoking fentanyl again an hour later; and Stephen, who had a history of violence and was now standing naked in the middle of Third Avenue, wearing only his left sneaker, gyrating and yelling something about how he was a sumo wrestler.

Bock pulled over and dialed the Police Department’s nonemergency line to report a mental health crisis, but the call was disconnected. He called again and waited through a series of recordings. “When call volume exceeds the number of available phone lines, your call may be disconnected,” the recording said, and the line went dead.


“Are you kidding me?” Bock said. He sometimes waited on hold for several hours for a non-emergency call. He watched Stephen sit in the street as traffic backed up behind him, and with no other solution in sight, Bock walked into the road. He was 6-foot-5 and more than 350 pounds, armed with a gun, pepper spray and an expertise in jujitsu. But more often in his work, he preferred to rely on the aphorism he’d taped to his wall while studying to become a preacher: “Love is the devotion to the well-being of others without regard to the cost.”

Its not enough to revive the victims, we need to get them the help they need to recover and thrive

Bok performs CPR on a man who overdosed.  The man regained conscioussness soon after. 

This happens dozens of time each day on our city streets.  Although it is not a problem unique to Portland, we should not accept it as "The way things are".

“Love is the devotion to the well-being of others without regard to the cost.”

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