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GOBHI Providers Behavioral Health Newsletter October 2022

Updated: Oct 31, 2022

Update From The CEO

Picture of Karen Wheeler, GOBHI CEO

Greetings, providers.

Happy fall and welcome to November! We’re on the doorstep of the holiday season, and it came more quickly than expected.

October brought several exciting events related to our field. The Recovery Walk on Oct. 15 in Pendleton was a success in raising awareness about the hope and power of recovery in local communities. We were honored to support this event, alongside Oregon Recovers and many partners.

Most recently, I attended the Oregon Council for Behavioral Health (OCBH) annual leadership conference in Sunriver. The conference takes place each fall, convening executives and directors of OCBH member organizations and partners from across Oregon, CCO leadership, OHA directors and industry leaders.

The event was a great forum for sharing perspectives on trends, new treatment models and data collection techniques, as well as the opportunity to network with industry peers and encourage system change.

This month’s newsletter edition includes a recap of the Social-Emotional Metric kickoff meeting, an article from Center for Human Development (CHD) on suicide prevention efforts, educational opportunities provided by our Older Adult Behavioral Health Initiative (OABHI) team, and more. We hope you find these updates helpful and informative. Please send ideas or article submissions you may have to Patrick Mulvihill.

Thank you for your steadfast work serving Eastern Oregon’s vulnerable and priority populations. I look forward to addressing the needs of our community members alongside you, now and in the months ahead.


Karen Wheeler, MA CEO, GOBHI / Tribal Liaison, EOCCO

Suicide Prevention Update - CHD

Suicide prevention efforts at Center for Human Development

By Daisy Thompson

Center for Human Development

Photo of a young girl and woman smiling

*At left, Isabell Golden and Tabitha Jenkins

A jar with pebbles next to it for supporting suicide awareness

On September 22nd, a month’s work of preparation and passion came together in our first community suicide prevention rally. Some of our dedicated mental health staff at the Center for Human Development gathered to embrace our community who have been touched by suicide with a focus on support, access to help, focusing on facts, and debunking myths. The event was held at our home town university, and was attended by community members and mental health providers alike. Focus was also on reducing stigma not only around suicide prevention work, but mental health support in general.

Throughout the month, we put up our ‘Signs of Hope” throughout our county, continued to provide access to suicide prevention training to our community, as well as our mental health providers, ran radio ads promoting access to support, played videos at our local theatre with information on how to connect to safety and resources for anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts, and emphasized resources and access to care at all of our student-based health centers (SBHC) and counseling programs in schools.

Finally, as a coalition, we decided that while September was Suicide Prevention Month, as a community we want to prioritize suicide prevention every day of the year, so collectively decided that September would simply be our kick-off month for Suicide Prevention every day and month of the year!

EOCCO Social-Emotional Metric kickoff

At the start of this year, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) released a new incentive measure to help support health aspects of kindergarten readiness. The Social Emotional Health Metric (SEH) will focus on addressing the needs of our youth aged 0-5 and their families to have equitable access to services. That supports their social-emotional health and is the best match for their needs.

There are four components of the SEH Metric. It begins by assessing the service area and developing a plan to improve services. As part of the SEH Metric, OHA has provided data to guide and inform efforts and to assess the sensitivity and specificity of the metric.

On October 20th, the EOCCO Community Health Development Team gathered with community partners from our 12 county EOCCO region to present data and begin collaborating. At the virtual meeting, we had individuals representing a diverse range of local partners including: Department of Human Services, community mental health programs, Early Learning Hubs, early care and education programs, including preschool and childcare programs, local public health programs, and other community-based organizations.

We reviewed two datasets, a child-level file and an aggregate report of the metric findings to our CCO. The aggregate report looks at CCO performance on the 0-5 assessment and service measure, historically as well as during the most recent reporting period of October 2020 to September 2021. We also reviewed survey results in an effort to understand the available mental health and behavioral health services for children 0-5 and their caregivers along with asset mapping for Conscious Discipline and Triple P. A recording of this portion of the SEH presentation will be available on GOBHI’s website in the near future.

We broke out into sessions based on hub regions and had in-depth conversations regarding accessing behavioral health resources & services, barriers to accessing behavioral health resources & services, opportunities for collaboration, barriers that prevent our Hispanic/Latinx population from accessing services, ways to address barriers impacting the Hispanic/Latinx population when making a referral for BH services or when accessing services. It was exciting to hear from each of the communities and learn about the gaps and barriers families are facing and really look at how we can collaborate to help fill those gaps.

This is the beginning of many more conversations and collaboration across the EOCCO region. After gathering feedback, the CCO will finalize the asset map and will compile the feedback received from this session to develop an action plan to strengthen services for children 0-5. These steps will repeat next year, incorporating primary care into the asset map and measuring our progress on the action plan we have developed.

OABHI trainings

Understanding Your Grief - Helping Yourself Heal is a six-part series to help guide your unique journey with loss, grief and healing. Meets weekly on Tuesday evenings, Nov. 1-Dec. 13. Facilitator: Rod Harwood, M.Div., M.A., QMHP-C, older adult behavioral health specialist with GOBHI. Register here.

Care Partner Support Series: Are you caring for a loved one living with dementia? Discover new techniques and practical insights from Positive Approach to Care® certified Advanced Consultant, Rod Harwood (GOBHI). This learning series will take place on Monday afternoons, Nov. 7-Dec. 12. Free. Register here.

SOAR online course: adult curriculum

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is providing free trainings pertaining to applying for social security benefits.

This course trains case workers to assist adults (age 18+) who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and have a serious mental illness, medical impairment, and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder to apply for the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability programs, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

What you will learn:

  • Comprehensive information about SSI/SSDI and SSA's disability determination process

  • SOAR Critical Components of completing and submitting comprehensive and high quality SSI/SSDI applications

How you will learn it:

  • Seven comprehensive classes each include a series of articles and “Try-It” quizzes.

  • Apply what you learn by completing a Practice Case SSI/SSDI Application Packet for a fictional applicant. We provide the video interviews, medical records, and progress notes you need!

  • You will work at your own pace, starting and stopping as you wish.

Who should take the SOAR online course?

  • Anyone who would like to learn more about SOAR and the SSI/SSDI application process is welcome to enroll. There is no cost and no obligation to complete the course once enrolled.

    • Class 1: The Need for SOAR provides a broad overview of the SOAR model, often referred to as “SOAR 101.” This may be helpful for agency administrators and supervisors of SOAR-trained staff.

  • However, completion of the entire course and submission of a Practice Case Application Packet is geared toward case workers who will be assisting with SSI/SSDI applications using the SOAR model.

    • Completion of the course and Practice Case takes an estimated 20 hours.

    • Practice Case Application Packets are submitted to the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center for individualized review and feedback within 10 business days. Revisions may be requested.

    • Certificate of Completion includes 20 CEUs from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

    • Your state may have additional SOAR training/certification requirements. See the State Directory.

Behavioral Health Loan Repayment Program Application Open November 1, 2022 - January 1, 2023 Overview

As part of its Behavioral Health Workforce Initiative, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) established the Oregon Behavioral Health Loan Repayment Program. The program supports behavioral health care workers who:

  • Represent and/or serve underserved communities in Oregon, and

  • Serve people regardless of their health care coverage (e.g., Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance) or ability to pay.

As mandated by House Bill 4071 (2022), OHA seeks to increase community access to behavioral health providers for people of color, Tribal members, and residents of rural areas.

Award Information

In exchange for two years of service, program participants will receive a tax-free award of funds to repay qualifying undergraduate and post-graduate loan debt. OHA may also consider other educational loan debt. OHA will calculate awards based on the participant's balance owed on qualifying loans.

  • For full-time workers (32+ hours per week), the award is 70 percent of their qualifying educational loan debt balance, up to $50,000 per obligation year.

  • For part-time workers (16-31 hours per week), the award is 35 percent of their qualifying educational loan debt balance, up to $25,000 per obligation year.

Participants who do not meet the two-year service obligation must repay the full or partial balance of their award for time not served during each obligation year.

Who Can Apply?

Applicants must be currently employed providing at least 16 hours of behavioral health care services per week, including direct or telehealth patient/client care, charting and clinical supervision. Applicants must also be one of the following provider types:

Licensed Behavioral Health Provider

Providers licensed, or on track for licensure (e.g., associates), by the following authorities to render behavioral health services:

These providers include:

  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker

  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

  • Marriage & Family Therapist

  • Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor

  • Licensed Professional Counselor

  • Clinical Psychologist

  • Physician Assistant

  • Physician in behavioral health (e.g., psychiatrist)

  • Art Therapist

  • School Counselor

  • Licensed Practical Nurse

  • Registered Nurse

  • Nurse Practitioner

Certified Behavioral Health Provider

Providers with active certification by the Mental Health and Addiction Certification Board of Oregon (MHACBO) to render behavioral health services.

MHACBO-certified providers include:

  • Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP)

  • Qualified Mental Health Associate (QMHA)

  • Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC)

  • Certified Gambling Addiction Counselor (CGAC)

  • Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS)

  • Certified Recovery Mentor (CRM)

  • Certified Gambling Recovery Mentor (CGRM)

Registered Traditional Health Worker

Providers registered in the Traditional Health Worker Registry:

  • Birth Doula

  • Community Health Worker (CHW)

  • Personal Health Navigator (PHN)

  • Peer Support Specialist (PSS)

  • Peer Wellness Specialist (PWS)

OHA will give priority scoring and awards to applicants who:

  • Represent or identify with the ethnicity or culture of underserved communities.

  • Provide behavioral health care services to underserved communities.

  • Have lived experience with underserved communities.

  • Speak a second language in a behavioral health care setting for underserved communities.

  • Work at a Community Mental Health Program

  • Provide behavioral health care services in a designated Health Professional Shortage Area with a score of 4 or higher

Application Dates

  • Application link opens at 12:00 a.m. (PDT) on November 1, 2022

  • Application link closes at 12:00 p.m. (PDT) on January 3, 2023

Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible to allow time for follow-up information requests from OHA.

If you applied during the previous application cycle (June, 2022 – August, 2022) and you were not chosen for an award, we have automatically rolled your application over to this current review cycle for consideration. If you are awarded from this application cycle, we will ask you to send us the following information:

  • Updated educational loan documentation dated within 30 days of the request.

  • Any updates to your full- or part-time employment status, practice site location, duties, or employment contract language.

  • Any additional information (if there are changes to the application).

Behavioral Health Workforce Initiative Clinical Supervision Expansion Program Request for Grant Proposals

The Behavioral Health Workforce Initiative (BHWi) was created through House Bill 2949, passed by the 2021 Legislature, and replaced in 2022 by House Bill 4071. One goal of the legislation is to provide grants that provide supervised clinical experience to associates or other clinicians who have the necessary education but who need supervised clinical experience to obtain a license to practice.

To help advance this goal, the Legislature has approved $20 million to expand clinical supervision in the behavioral health system through a Clinical Supervision Program that increases or enhances support of tribal members, communities of color, rural communities, linguistically diverse, and individuals who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual and Two-Spirit (LGBTQIA2S+).

The Clinical Supervision Program will provide grants to licensed psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed professional counselors, and licensed clinical social workers to provide supervised clinical experience to associates. In addition, Substance Use Disorder Treatment Staff (as that term is defined in OAR 309-080-0105) who are certified supervisors also qualify to receive funding awarded through this RFGP.

Proposals that focus on increasing the diversity of the behavioral health workforce; center on advancing equity and expanding culturally and linguistically responsive care, while expanding linguistically appropriate services and serving historically underserved communities, are strongly encouraged and will be prioritized.

The Clinical Supervision Expansion Program RFGP (Round 2) closes on November 4, 2022 and the complete application may be found online at :

Program reminder - Foster Care

Foster homes for youth are greatly needed in Eastern Oregon!

The GOBHI Therapeutic Foster Care program provides full-time/part-time services and care to youth in foster homes with foster parents certified and trained by GOBHI. Youth are involved with the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS), Child Welfare Division.

Please visit our website to learn more about the program and how you can help by sharing information, promoting the importance of foster care, and referring individuals who are able to support this critical effort.

Help us build a network of caring homes to support youth across our state. For more information about referral incentives and how you can support foster home recruitment efforts, see this flyer or contact a member of our Foster Care Team.

Questions? Topics?

Invitation: County Highlights

This newsletter is published on the last Monday of each month.

One of our ongoing sections is a “spotlight” of each county. Each month, we invite updates from the 12 counties in our service area. We invite content from you for this section: 3-4 sentences (or ~150-300 words) about news in your county, such as staff, building, and success story content. Please contact Patrick Mulvihill to sign up for one of the 12 months. Aside from sign-ups, we will reach out to you to help gather the content. Thank you for your support.

Submission due dates for comments and submitted write-ups: the second Friday of each month, at 4 p.m. Next due date is Nov. 11.

Helpful Links:


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