Dear BHECN partners, collaborators, and stakeholders,

I’d like to thank all of you for your participation in the Behavioral Health Emergency Coordination Network (BHECN) over the past year. As Director of the Multnomah County Health Department, I want to acknowledge send gratitude for all the work that has brought us thus far. While we are transitioning from planning to implementing key parts of the network — including new sobering capacity — we are thrilled to take the lead on this initiative in partnership with the City of Portland and all of you. 

The vision of the Behavioral Health Emergency Coordinated Network (BHECN) is to provide a more coordinated Behavioral Health crisis response system, from sobering to psychiatric crisis assessment and stabilization. The network will help individuals experiencing acute psychiatric crises when they need immediate clinical treatment. BHECN will support people who are not ready for treatment or hospitalization but need support to stabilize their current crisis, so it does not escalate to a higher level of need.

As we step into the future of our BHECN work together, we will continue to honor the work that led us to this point and leverage our collective power to build momentum towards meeting the needs of our communities — especially those impacted by chemical dependency or methamphetamine use.

This month (September 2022) a new Executive Committee will convene to develop and implement strategies for a system that can more effectively meet this acute and immediate need of those in psychiatric crisis.

I am hopeful about the future of this work, and the positive impact it will have in the lives of so many people in our community. Thank you for remaining curious and engaged, I look forward to co-creating and shaping this work with you all, and am grateful for the work you do to improve the health and well-being for all in our County.

Sincerely,

Ebony Clarke