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The City of Portland, Oregon

Community & Civic Life

Promote the common good

Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 114, Portland, OR 97204

How our Mental Health Program transforms your engagement


 Working for a city who has adopted and practices the principles of being a trauma informed workforce. A place where a person experiencing mental illness in the workplace is supported, included, understood, and empowered. Adapt to Impact’s work will be driving forces in acknowledging the prevalence of mental illness; destigmatizing mental illness; recognizing trauma and its impacts from an individual perspective; and providing practical tools/resources will enable the City to be more trauma informed.


City staff have participated in the Mental Health First aid training a nationally recognized curriculum for educating individuals on how to recognize and respond to persons who are experiencing mental illness. This training equipped City staff with the ability to initially provide help for persons experiencing mental health problems including additions; preserve life of a person who may be in danger to themselves or others; provide preventative resources; promote recovery; and provide comfort and support. This training will be returning with modifications to identify nuances and provide practical application tools to aid individuals in feeling competent and empowered to be supportive to a person in distress.


 Taking advantage of trainings, emerging practices, and strategic planning are ways to become better equipped to not only provide trauma informed customer service, but to create a workplace where employees feel competent and supported. Utilizing the above-mentioned resources fosters a workforce that acknowledges the physical, emotional, and mental toll of working with distressed individuals may cause.

If you are a Bureau who often is faced with interacting with distressed callers who may present in the following ways:

  • Often call in with requests beyond your scope of work
  • Demand unrealistic solutions to their problems
  • Become verbally aggressive and abusive
  • Call on multiple occasions
  • Often attempt to include city elects in their complaint process (e.g. email chains)

Accessing Adapt to Impact will aid in positioning employees to not only be prepared to deal with community members, but to be present and supportive to colleagues. This is accomplished through education that results in employees feeling empowered to practice effective self-care, be empathetic, and feel competent and confident in interacting and supporting a person who may be experiencing mental illness whether it be a colleague or community member.

 More about our Mental Health Program

The Mental Health Program was initially an outward facing role created to bridge the gap between City government and persons in the community who experience or have been impacted by mental illness through the oversight of COCL, capacity building, and providing various trainings.

The role has now shifted to an inward focus on shaping dialog around health and wellbeing with an emphasis on mental health and working to implement systemic change work. This change work will examine the City’s fundamental systemic policies and practices to implement adaptive change. The implementation and execution of adaptive changes will result in increased acknowledge of the prevalence of mental illness; promotion of mental wellness (via EAP) and inclusivity; and creation of a more supportive and trauma informed City workforce.

Visit our Mental Health Program's post Celebrating World Mental Health Day to learn more!

In 2019, we are:

  • Promoting civic engagement through positive community relations with persons experiencing mental health disabilities
  • Generating monthly mental health tips—providing practical tools, resources, and education related to mental health.
  • Implementing capacity building support and training to promote awareness, increase proactivity, and improve policies and practices citywide.
  • Prioritizing adaptive governance collaboration work to initiate the accomplishment of shared goals with other City bureaus and expanding the breadth of collective resources and community partnerships.

Button that says "Work with Adapt to Impact." Takes you to intake form at: