This past Sunday, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) took to walking with members and supporters through the Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland in the hopes of raising $225,000 for mental health services.
Many walking had a special connection to the cause, and in an interview with KATU2, one young woman involved with NAMI explained her reason for walking. Having to resort to a hospital stay for emotional distress, Trillian Stanton realized the importance of support in recovering from mental illness. This realization is what inspired her to create Project Self-Care.
The project creates self-care boxes with various comforting items, such as fun snacks, journals, coloring books, a fidget toy. Each box also includes a handwritten note letting the recipient know that he or she is in someone’s thoughts. She states in her explanation of the project that “the idea behind project self care is to remind people that they are worth loving, we give them the materials to then use to help nurture themselves when they are in times of crisis.”
In the interview, Stanton stated, “When you’re in the middle of the night, and you want to not be here anymore, and you open this kit and you’re trying to take care of yourself, and you’ll think, ‘look at how much the community wanted to take care of me.'” She hopes this feeling of community will help those struggling with mental illness.
In the past three months, she has already given out 30 kits and is currently fundraising for $1,200 to help her project.
Stanton is not the only one however attempting to help those with mental illnesses in Oregon.
In a statewide study released earlier this year, Oregon was found to have a higher than average number of teens struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. 1 in 5 people will experience a mental health issue in a year, but in Oregon, the average was actually 1 out of 3 students.
Multnomah County is currently taking measures to counteract this statistic by providing services in the schools, including providing specific people to talk to or a place to get more professional, serious help. The County health offices now also provide resources on their website as well as a through a phone line 24/7.
David Hidalgo, Director for Multnomah County Mental Health and Addiction Services, stated in an interview with KATU2, “For students, being able to have a healthy mind is critical to being successful in school.”
The supervisor for School Based Mental Health in Multnomah County, Stephen Dunlevy, also stated in the interview the importance of teen’s mental health and the need to reduce the stigma. “It’s important that we reduce stigma so that getting access to mental health services is just like going to your doctor.
All Oregonians will remember the tragic wildfire that ran through the Columbia River Gorge, destroying many of the state’s most beautiful hikes and views. The fire burned a total of 48,000 acres of land.
Ever so slowly, several trails are opening up to the public once again, specifically Starvation Ridge, Mount Defiance, and Warren Lake. Favorite spots that include Oneonta Gorge, Angel’s Rest, and Larch Mountain are still closed to the public.
In February, the teen who started the fire by throwing fireworks into brush pleaded guilty, and he was just charged by the Hood River County Circuit Court with paying around $36.6 million in restitution for the damage caused by the fire. The Hood River Juvenile Department will help him to establish a payment schedule. The judge stated in a memorandum on the case that “In short, I’m satisfied that the restitution ordered in this case bears a sufficient relationship to the gravity of the offenses for which the youth was adjudicated.”
The day before Mother’s Day, The Oregonian posted, unsurprisingly, an article on motherhood. What was surprising was it’s discussion of death in relation to mothers and their children with Tarvez Tucker, a doctor in the neuroscience intensive care unit at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon.
The article began with a candid statement by the journalist, Tom Hallman Jr: “If we’re honest, many children see Mother’s Day as an obligation. Rarely do we reflect on what a mother’s love means. Nor do we acknowledge the truth that in time it will be just another Sunday in May.”
This reflection was prompted by Dr. Tucker’s writings on the deaths of some mothers she has seen in the ICU. One story describes a mother fatally shot on a stormy night, asking the nurse to take care of her four-year old son who was afraid of thunderstorms. Another describes a mother with cancer refusing exhaustive, experimental treatment that would only give her two more months to go home to dye eggs with her five young children.
Hallman states that Tucker’s reflections resulted in her belief that “the most profound expressions of love are the ones between mother and child. Hallman notes that this love is not greater than that of the father’s, but it is different since the mother carries the baby within herself, resulting in a unique intimacy that is at the root of motherhood. The moment the child is born, the mother must introduce her child into the world, “and so begins a lifetime of letting go” that ends with the hope that the mother can die with her children by her side, able to continue her work of carrying the world forward.
He ended the article by including Dr. Tucker’s thoughts on her own gift of motherhood to her four sons, stating that her sons “think she’s too sentimental, calling her mushy when she tries to explain the depth of love for the babies who grew into the men who one day will be by her beside when her time comes.” But she does want to leave them a message on her deathbed since “in those last moments, I hear how people love each other.”
Read more of Dr. Tucker’s stories in the original article on The Oregonian.
Oregon is known for its ways of making ordinary actions completely unique in a way only the hipster philosophy can achieve. Multiple of these oddities have included goats in the past, including goat yoga, and a new one can be added to this list: Goat Caddies.
This new form of golf resides in Seneca, Oregon on the Silvies Valley Ranch, which is a goat and cattle farm that includes a spa and three golf courses. The owner of the ranch, Tygh Campbell, birthed the idea, and his co-founder, Akbar Chisti, in an interview with the Oregonian, explained how they made this idea a reality.
Creating the golf bags specifically designed for the goats was a difficulty since “golf bags aren’t made to go on goats,” but trial-and-error eventually lead to a successful bag that not only included space for the clubs but also a six-pack of beer and a bag of peanuts for the goat.
As of now, they have trained four goats to act as caddies and plan on training more in the future. The McVeigh’s Gauntlet Course will open on July 10th to the public interested in golfing with goat caddies.
But this May, she started a new initiative, just in time for Mother’s Day, that encouraged patients, doctors, and all who have experienced the power of medicine to share their life-giving stories on Twitter with the hashtag #ShareAStoryInOneTweet.
Choo’s original tweet, in 154 characters, described a patient who had been clinically dead for twenty minutes before being revived by Choo and her staff. She stated he still called her every year on the anniversary of saving his life, and it is now the ten-year anniversary.
Esther Choo’s #ShareAStoryInOneTweet
Hundreds responded to her challenge with incredible stories that would make any reader laugh, weep, and smile at their heartwarming experiences. The stories included the heavy impact of death on patients and doctors, miracles, dedication and perseverance, and hope for all.
Tweet in response to Esther Choo
See The Oregonian’s article for more responses to Choo’s Twitter Challenge.