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BEND, OR -- The head of the Oregon Health Authority will be in Bend Wednesday evening, to gather feedback on the state's mental health services. OHA Director Lynne Saxton and Senator Sara Gelser (D-Corvallis) are conducting a listening tour around the state. Patricia Fenny with the OHA tells KBND they've already been to Klamath Falls and La Grande. "They shared things that were working for them, like finding affordable housing, to what was challenging, finding permanent employment. But other challenges were the fact that there was just a single psychiatrist for that area, and there was only one child psychiatric expert for that entire area."

 

Fenny says there will be a total of six town hall meetings across the state. "The goal is to identify areas within the behavioral health system which could be strengthened by legislation or created by legislation."

 

Bend's meeting is at Central Oregon Community College's Willie Hall from 5-8 p.m. "In order to encourage good conversation in a safe environment where people feel supported, it's fairly intimate. We have table-top discussion, so there are about six to eight people per table with a trained facilitator and questions are what's working for you and what are your challenges?" Fenny says. 

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