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The City of Portland, Oregon

Office of Management & Finance

Bureau of Human Resources

Knowledgeable | Helpful | Responsive

Phone: 503-823-3572

Benefits Line: 503-823-6031

1120 SW 5th Ave, Room 987, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

Mental Health

Mental Health

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Mental health affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:

  • Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
  • Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
  • Family history of mental health problems

Mental health problems are common but help is available. People with mental health problems can get better and many recover completely.

Early Warning Signs

Not sure if you or someone you know is living with mental health problems? Experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviors can be an early warning sign of a problem:

  • Eating or sleeping too much or too little
  • Pulling away from people and usual activities
  • Having low or no energy
  • Feeling numb or like nothing matters
  • Having unexplained aches and pains
  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
  • Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
  • Yelling or fighting with family and friends
  • Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
  • Having persistent thoughts and memories you can't get out of your head
  • Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
  • Thinking of harming yourself or others
  • Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or      school

Learn more about specific mental health problems and where to find help.

Mental Health and Wellness

Positive mental health allows people to:

  • Realize their full potential
  • Cope with the stresses of life
  • Work productively
  • Make meaningful contributions to their communities

Ways to maintain positive mental health include:

  • Getting professional help if you need it
  • Connecting with others
  • Staying positive
  • Getting physically active
  • Helping others
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Developing coping skills

For ideals and strategies to help manage your mental health, please check the resources below:


Work-Life Balance

Fostering Healthy Relationships

Healthy Habits for Mental Health




Avoiding Burnout

Safe use of Alcohol or prescription drugs

Risk, sign of misuse and health consequences of drug addiction 

NAMI COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide


Get involved/ Improve relationships

Connection with others and having deep and meaningful relationships helps improve mental health. It allows you to form a support network while building your listening and communication skills.

Celebrate every positive moment with family and friends. By doing this, research shows you will boost well-being by helping you enjoy good things even more and making great feelings last. 

Additional Resources:

Secret to Happiness

Health Benefits of Strong Relationships – Harvard Health

Hands On Greater Portland

Be Happy/Find Purpose

Focusing on the things that bring you joy is good for your health. Being happy promotes a healthy lifestyle and may also help combat stress, boost your immune system, protect your heart and reduce pain.  Similarly, a Sense of Purpose has known benefits to our mood and lifestyle choices.  Purpose is the sense of knowing that your life has meaning, value, and importance. A Sense of Purpose also helps when things go wrong. Purpose helps you to put those events in perspective, to refocus on the things that are meaningful to you, and to move ahead and enjoy life.

Additional Resources:

Greater Good Magazine – UC Berkeley

The Pursuit of Happiness

Taking Charge of your Health and Wellbeing