Category Programs | White Bird Clinic

Mental Health Resources During COVID-19

Looking for our COVID-19 community resource page? We moved it over here.

As leaders on the frontlines of mental illness and substance abuse disorder treatment, we know how difficult it can be to cope with the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 amidst the loss of familiar resources. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. The White Bird Crisis line will continue to be accessible 24/7 by phone at (541) 687-4000. For an in-person response, CAHOOTS continues to operate 24/7 at this time, if you are in Eugene please call (541) 682-5111, for those in Springfield please call (541) 726-3714.

Telehealth

Telehealth appointments are available for both new and returning Counseling and Chrysalis clients. Intake forms for new clients are now available online.

Online Support Groups

AA   NA   GA

7 Cups: www.7cups.com Free online text chat with a trained listener for emotional support and counseling. Also offers fee for-service online therapy with a licensed mental health professional. Service/website also offered in Spanish.

Emotions Anonymous: www.emotionsanonymous.org An international fellowship of people who desire to have a better sense of emotional well-being. EA members have in person and online weekly meetings available in more than 30 countries with 600 active groups worldwide. The EA is nonprofessional resource and cannot be a replacement to therapy.

Support Group Central: www.supportgroupscentral.com Offers virtual support groups on numerous mental health conditions – free or low-cost. Website also offered in Spanish.

The Tribe Wellness Community: www.support.therapytribe.com Free, online peer support groups which is tailored to members who are facing mental health challenges and/or difficult family dynamics. Support groups include Addiction, Anxiety, Depression, HIV/AIDS, LGBT, Marriage/Family, OCD and Teens.

For Like Minds: www.forlikeminds.com Online mental health support network that allows for individuals to connect with others who are living with or supporting someone with mental health conditions, substance use disorders, and stressful life events.

Guidebooks & Tip Sheets

The NAMI HelpLine Coronavirus Information and Resources Guide may be helpful if you have questions or concerns.

SAMHSA’s Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation tip sheet describes feelings and thoughts you may have during and after social distancing, quarantine, and isolation. It also suggests ways to care for your behavioral health during these experiences and provides resources for more help.

Text/Chat

News about the coronavirus can increase feelings of anxiety. If you’re struggling, text Mental Heath First Aid to 741-741 to talk to a CrisisTextLine counselor.

HOOTS (Helping Out Our Teens in Schools) offering mental health support during school closures

In light of school closures due to COVID-19. HOOTS (Helping Out Our Teens in Schools) is offering mental health support by phone for students, families, and staff of high schools in the 4J, Springfield, Bethel, Oakridge and South Lane school districts. The phone line is staffed by crisis counselors who normally work the HOOTS school clinics, or work on CAHOOTS.

The phone line is accessible from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday. Video support is available from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on weekdays and is accessed by emailing hoots@whitebirdclinic.org with your name and preferred time. We are able to provide short term counseling and mental health support, resource referrals and OHP sign up.

  • For students, families and staff of 4J, Eugene Charter and Bethel High Schools please call (541) 246-2342.
  • For students, families and staff of Springfield, Oakridge and South Lane High Schools please call (541) 246-2332.

The White Bird Crisis line will continue to be accessible 24/7 by phone at (541) 687-4000. 15th Night will also be continuing to offer support and resources for unhoused youth and those working with them via phone and text at (541) 246-4046.

For an in-person response, CAHOOTS continues to operate 24/7 at this time, if you are in Eugene please call (541) 682-5111, for those in Springfield please call (541) 726-3714.

New Billboard Promotes White Bird Dental Clinic

We have a new billboard to promote White Bird Dental Clinic​ up by the Crisis Services Center at 990 W. 7th Avenue. The campaign is part of our effort to spread the word that the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) members have dental coverage that covers annual cleanings, x-rays, fillings, and other services that keep teeth healthy. Help spread the word!

Key messages

  • English: Oregon Health Plan members have dental coverage.
    Spanish: Los miembros del Plan de Salud de Oregon cuentan con cobertura dental.
  • English: The Oregon Health Plan (OHP) covers annual cleanings, x-rays, fillings, and other services that keep your teeth healthy.
    Spanish: El Plan de Salud de Oregon cubre limpiezas anuales, radiografías, y otros servicios de rutina que mantienen a tus dientes saludables.
Hearts for Hospice logo

White Bird End of Life Counseling

White Bird has received a generous grant from Hearts for Hospice to assist uninsured clients with End of Life Counseling services, in addition to supporting community outreach and education, training, and operational expenses for the project. White Bird End of Life Counseling is a compassionate, client-centered service that provides support for psychosocial, emotional, and spiritual issues related to death and dying. Our goal is to help ease people through the process of dying, especially those who could not otherwise receive support or services. When a person is terminally ill and has few resources, they may wait until their health deteriorates to the point of hospitalization before seeking services. This means not getting the necessary care until it’s unavoidable. Once the person is ill enough to visit the emergency department, they may be hospitalized or transferred to a nursing home. Our End of Life Counseling program seeks to serve clients who may otherwise be at risk of these stressful outcomes.

The project is lead by Amy May (MSW, QMHP), a member of the White Bird Counseling Department and the CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On the Streets) team. She has a personal interest in end of life counseling and providing emotional, mental, and spiritual support for people who traditionally have difficulty accessing counseling services. These difficulties may include behavioral issues, substance use disorder, lack of in-home services due to lack of housing, or difficulty maintaining housing. Her beliefs stem from a concern that the dying process is overlooked in our culture, rather than recognized as something sacred and crucial. End of life counseling seeks to help people accept that process and to become at peace with all the difficulties and unknowns. Traditional hospice services partially fill this role, but do not provide ongoing mental health counseling and may be inaccessible to people who are unhoused.

White Bird will provide end of life counseling in clients’ homes, by addressing the social determinants of health, coordinating care, and providing case management. When a person is terminally ill and has few resources, they may wait until their health deteriorates to the point of hospitalization before seeking services. Eugene and Springfield are served by several hospice programs, but only ours provides ongoing therapy at home. We combine the end of life doula model with mental health counseling, with special emphasis on low income and unhoused community members. Before our program, the area had only two such doulas, neither of whom were counselors. The project will serve a need for people who may be socially isolated, low income, housing insecure, disengaged from the social service system, or face other barriers to accessing hospice services.

Dental Office

White Bird Dental Clinic Grand Opening Celebration!

EUGENE, OREGON – The grand opening of White Bird’s expanded dental clinic will be January 23rd from 4pm to 6pm. The community is invited to tour the new facility at 1415 Pearl St. and celebrate with us.

Please join us to celebrate the opening of our state-of-the-art clinic. Take a tour, have a bite to eat, and meet our team.

Too many unhoused and low-income community members need dental care that they cannot access. White Bird Dental has responded by building a larger clinic that increases capacity by over seventy percent and accommodates twelve dental chairs. The new facility will make it easier for community members suffering from dental pain to get immediate, walk-in access to a dentist, and also allow White Bird to serve more elderly patients, children, and families.

White Bird has invested $2.5M to develop a state-of-the-art facility that provides acute and preventative oral health care to our community’s most vulnerable residents. The clinic’s design features the latest innovations in modern dentistry in a bright, airy space. The facility lets patients know that they are valued members of the community who deserve excellence in health care.

Support Us

The Dental Clinic Has Moved!

In response to the burgeoning community need, White Bird Dental Clinic has moved to an expanded facility at 1415 Pearl Street. The newly renovated building will allow us to serve nearly 75% more patients!

Poor oral health presents significant challenges for many unhoused community members. According to Trillium Community Health Plan, many of their patients don’t ever see a dentist. The last two Lane County Community Health Improvement Plans identified access to affordable dental care as a major priority. The dental clinic was founded in 1995 and has grown continuously since then. The twenty-three-year-old facility was the limiting factor in White Bird’s ability to meet the increased community need for oral health care.

White Bird Clinic has a history of identifying, assessing, and responding to community need by leveraging existing resources. The dental expansion project is a central component of White Bird’s mission of service to low income, under-served community members. After moving, the current clinic facility will be renovated to add a walk-in clinic to White Bird Medical. The new service will provide an alternative to hospital emergency room visits for low-income patients suffering an acute issue, offering compassionate and expert care and substantial cost savings for the community.

Download Updated Clinic Brochure

Free Oregon Birth Certificate for Persons Who Are Homeless

A birth certificate is an important legal document. It is needed to apply for other forms of identification (such as a driver’s license, Social Security card, or state ID card) that you need in order to:

  • Work
  • Get a place to live
  • Apply for and receive public assistance, and
  • Remove other barriers.

Starting July 1, 2018, individuals who are homeless can come to White Bird to get help ordering their Oregon birth certificate free of charge. We will

      • Help you complete the birth record order form
      • Give you information on what documents are needed
      • Provide you a check for payment

You will need to mail your order form, check, documentation, and completed application to Oregon Vital Records. Vital Records will mail your birth certificate to you in care of the address on the order form.

Can I get my birth certificate for free if I was born in another state?

This program is for persons born in Oregon. Check with the state where you were born to see if they offer free birth certificates to persons who are homeless.

Do I have to provide proof of identity?

Yes. A list of acceptable proofs of identity is on the Oregon Vital Records website. If you don’t have acceptable proofs of identity, we will help you work with Oregon Vital Records to determine what information is needed to release your birth certificate.

Can I get free birth certificates for my family?

No. The grant program was established for individuals who are homeless to get their own birth certificate free of charge. This grant program does not provide funds to get family members’ birth certificates.

Where will my birth certificate be mailed?

Your birth certificate will be mailed to the address on your order form. The envelope will be addressed to you since it is your birth certificate.

Will I be able to use the birth certificate to get other documents such as an Oregon identification card or driver’s license?

Yes. A birth certificate is a legal document used to establish identity. It shows who you are, and when and where you were born. Your birth certificate is a legal document and is confidential. Be sure to keep it in a safe place.

For more information, please contact Homeless Case Management at 541-342-1295 or drop in at 323 E 12th Ave, Eugene OR 97401 during walk-in hours.

Walk-In Hours
Monday: Walk-ins: 12-2 pm
Tuesday: Walk-ins: 12-2 pm
Wednesday: Walk-ins: 12-2 pm
Thursday: Walk-ins: 12-2 pm

Appointments outside of walk-in hours are available by request.

Cold Weather is Here

White Bird’s Stay Warm Drive Activates

download press release

EUGENE, OREGON – With the onset of cold weather, our most vulnerable community members who are living outdoors face freezing winter conditions. White Bird Clinic is sending out a call for any and all winter gear, particularly socks, warm gloves, blankets and sleeping bags.

For those who spend most of their time outdoors, winter in Eugene can be dangerous, as wet, cold weather makes it hard to stay healthy. Your donation of winter gear makes a difference for people who don’t have a warm and dry place to live. White Bird asks you to partner with us to support under-resourced community members and strengthen our shared culture of caring for one another.

Please bring donations to our main clinic building at 341 E 12th Ave. in Eugene:

  • Blankets
  • Sleeping bags
  • Coats/Jackets/Sweaters
  • Warm pants
  • Socks/Gloves/Scarves
  • Rain gear
  • Tarps

We’re happy to pick up larger donations. Please call 541-342-8255.

White Bird’s Front Room program offers a warm and dry space. Open from 8am-10pm daily and located at 341 E 12th St. in Eugene, we welcome the community to come in from the cold.


In 1969, a group of student activists and concerned practitioners came together to provide crisis services and free medical care for counter-culture youth in Eugene, OR. Having grown continuously since then, today White Bird Clinic has 10 programs, 220 staff members, and more than 400 volunteers each year.

To celebrate fifty years of service, White Bird is growing, demonstrating our commitment to serving low income, under-resourced community members. We’re expanding many different programs at once, so we’re turning to the community for support and partnership. Please call 541.342.8255 or visit www.whitebirdclinic.org to donate to the project of your choice.

CAHOOTS Mobile Mental Health Intervention Program In The News

White Bird’s CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets) program continues to make headlines. CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell correspondent Omar Villafranca went on a ride-along with CAHOOTS to see them at work and learn why the program is being considered by cities across the country.

NBC News featured the team’s approach in their feature “Taking police officers out of mental health-related 911 rescues.”

Denver police officials said they are considering the model as an option to push beyond their existing co-responder program. New York City is looking to the program as “a model for non-police response to non-criminal emergencies.”

Salem nonprofits are looking at the model for mobile crisis response. “CAHOOTS gets 2 percent of the police budget, but with that 2 percent they handle 17 percent of public safety calls,” said Ashley Hamilton, who’s helping spearhead the idea.

Rogue Valley law enforcement, mental health professionals and advocates, elected officials and other concerned community members gathered at the Medford Police Department to hear Tim Black talk via Skype about the program in September. In November, city commissioners are expected to discuss how the program would work in Portland.

The power of White Bird’s CAHOOTS program lies in its community relationships and the ability of first responders to simply ask, ‘How can I support you today?’ White Bird Clinic is proud to be a part of spreading this type of response across Oregon and the rest of the United States. Please consider a donation to help us expand our model.

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Waitlist Open November 12 through November 19

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waitlist will be open from November 12th at 8:00 am through November 19th at 4:00 pm. White Bird is here to help people apply. Our sign up hours will be 10-4 throughout the entire time the list is open. Call our specialists Sarah at 541-246-1621 or Brenda at 541-246-2333.

Applicants can also apply for the waitlist online or at both of the Homes for Good offices.

The Lane County, Oregon Section 8 program is currently working with families through lottery number 3000 from the 2017 waitlist. They have contacted all 3,000 applicants who were selected in the 2017 Section 8 Waiting list lottery.

Section 8 Wait List Downloads and Resources

For applicants on any waiting list, you MUST maintain a current mailing address at all times as you will be contacted through the U.S. Mail when your name comes to the top of the waiting list. If your mail comes back as undeliverable, or if there is no response because you moved and mail was not forwarded, your file will be canceled and you will need to reapply when the waiting list reopens. Address changes should be made by calling 541-682-3755 or by emailing 

Hard Hat Tour at White Bird Dental Clinic

Dr. Tim Welch led a hard hat tour of White Bird Dental’s construction of 1415 Pearl Street.  The remodeled space will have 12 dental chairs and allow increased access to dental care for families.

We are currently fundraising to cover the cost of remodeling.

Now Accepting New Medicare Patients and Expanding Hours

In response to burgeoning community need, White Bird Clinic’s Medical program is now accepting new Medicare Patients and expanding service hours! Starting August 5th, the clinic will be open Monday – Friday from 9am to 6pm, except every other Monday when we are closed between 12:30 – 2:30 for staff meetings.

Please contact us at (541) 484-4800 to schedule an appointment or visit https://whitebirdclinic.org to learn more about our services.

White Bird’s Crisis Center has moved to 990 W 7th Avenue in Eugene

White Bird Clinic’s Crisis program will offer expanded walk-in services as well as a telephone crisis line from our renovated facility at 990 W 7th Ave beginning August 1st. The new location improves access to White Bird services for community members in the Jefferson Westside and Whiteaker neighborhoods, as well as West Eugene.

The new crisis center will house the crisis line phone service, which White Bird has operated 24/7/365 for 50 years, as well as walk-in services in a trauma-informed space. The choice of location is intended to expand White Bird’s presence in the Whiteaker neighborhood as well as its reach into west Eugene and western Lane County.

This safe space is intended to minimize environmental triggers that could be re-traumatizing. In 2018, the crisis team had 13,387 client encounters, 2,743 of them walk-in and 10,644 through the telephone crisis line. There were 4,237 contacts with clients in crisis and 2,976 contacts with clients seeking mental health information and referral. We served 2,006 unhoused clients and diverted 636 emergency room visits.

The crisis center construction is the first of many projects that will increase White Bird’s ability to care for Eugene’s most vulnerable community members. The agency has purchased two new buildings, is developing new dental and medical clinics, and is expanding CAHOOTS coverage and hours.

White Bird is taking a risk and growing to better serve, and is turning to the community for help with the financial resources needed to care for our most vulnerable community members. Contributions support White Bird’s mission and services for those in need. All donations are tax deductible.

White Bird at Fair

White Bird’s RockMed operates two first aid stations, one near Main Stage (Big Bird) and one in Xavanadu (Little Wing). White Bird is staffed 24 hours a day until Monday at 3pm, including several doctors around the clock, and nurses, EMTs, paramedics, and teams roving throughout the site that can be dispatched to incidents by radio. White Bird has been on site at the Oregon Country Fair for 50 years.

In an emergency go to the nearest Information Booth. If you cannot find one, ask at the nearest craft or food booth for directions. Each Information Booth can quickly contact emergency services.

PHOTO Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Related

A Talk With Wren Arrington On White Bird Clinic’s OCF Services
  JUL 12, 2018

White Bird Clinic And Oregon Country Fair Nearing Half-Century Mark
By BRIAN BULL • JUL 12, 2018

Help us open a new medical walk-in clinic!

To celebrate our fiftieth, we’re growing our programs, demonstrating our commitment to serving low income, under-resourced community members. In response to burgeoning community need, White Bird is opening a new medical walk-in clinic for individuals who are low-income and/or homeless and uninsured. The clinic, below the existing primary care clinic, will provide an alternative for patients experiencing an acute issue who lack health insurance, diverting a great number of emergency room visits.

Garth Brooks Rock Medicine Fundraiser

White Bird Clinic’s event medicine program will provide medical and crisis intervention services for the Garth Brooks concert at Autzen

StadiumWhite Bird Clinic’s Event Medicine Program, Rock Medicine, will be providing Medical and Crisis Intervention services for the Garth Brooks Stadium Tour when he performs at Autzen Stadium in Eugene on Saturday, June 29th. We will bring 60 professional volunteers providing our unique model of Compassionate Care to a record-breaking sold-out crowd of 64,000 happy patrons.

Rock Medicine is a fundraising effort for White Bird Clinic so the services we provide at the event are provided by contract with the promoter and the funds we earn help support the amazing services White Bird provides all year long in Eugene & Springfield.

It’s a true labor of love and the work provides a great spirit of camaraderie among our volunteers!

If you have a background in Mental Health, Social Service, or Medical field and think you might like to volunteer with Rock Medicine at our next event, write to rockmed@whitebirdclinic.org for more information.

Support Us

This summer, Rock Medicine is launching a campaign to raise money for White Bird to open a new walk-in medical clinic for individuals who are low-income and/or homeless and uninsured. The clinic, below the existing primary care clinic, will provide an alternative for patients experiencing an acute issue who lack health insurance, diverting a great number of emergency room visits. Help us by making a donation or joining our fundraising team – click the image below for details!

 

tim in california

Mental Health First Responders Visit Oakland

White Bird Clinic’s CAHOOTS program is meeting with stakeholders to share an innovative model for mobile crisis intervention that would otherwise be handled by public safety or emergency medical response.

OAKLAND, CA – White Bird Clinic of Eugene, OR has developed an innovative public/private partnership delivering crisis and community health first response effectively and at significant cost savings. For thirty years, CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets) has been providing mobile crisis intervention 24/7, dispatched through the EMS non-emergency system. This week, members of CAHOOTS are in Oakland to meet with the Mayor, the Coalition for Police Accountability, and other community stakeholders to discuss implementing the innovative model locally.

Each CAHOOTS team consists of a medic (a nurse or an EMT) with a crisis worker who has substantial training and experience in the mental health field. The team provides behavioral health first response/responders, immediate stabilization in case of urgent medical need or psychological crisis, assessment, information, referral, advocacy and, when warranted, transportation to the next step in treatment.

White Bird Clinic started CAHOOTS in 1989 in partnership with the Eugene Police Department as a community policing initiative. CAHOOTS offers compassionate, effective, timely care while diverting a considerable portion of the public safety workload, freeing the police and fire departments to respond to the highest priority calls. CAHOOTS handles 17% of the Eugene Police Department’s non-emergency calls. In 2017, police officers nationally spent 21% of their time responding to or transporting people with mental illness.

CAHOOTS focuses exclusively on meeting the medical and mental health needs of the community, making it both more economical and more effective than traditional models involving agencies with a larger scope of responsibility. Police officers and firefighters receive comprehensive training in a broad set of skills, making their deployment to non-emergent situations unnecessarily costly. The CAHOOTS model also ensures that health and behavior health care are integrated from the onset of intervention and treatment, adding to the efficacy and economy of the model.

White Bird’s CAHOOTS program has attracted notice, from national news media as well as from communities across the country. The Wall Street Journal’s November 24th article When Mental- Health Experts, Not Police, Are the First Responders showcased CAHOOTS as an innovative model for reducing the risk of violent civilian/police encounters. Communities from California to New York have asked for strategic guidance and training so they can replicate CAHOOTS’ success.

Currently, CAHOOTS is working with the following communities:

  • Olympia, WA
  • Portland, OR
  • Denver, CO
  • New York, NY
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Roseburg, OR


In 1969, a group of student activists and concerned practitioners came together to provide crisis services and free medical care for counter-culture youth in Eugene, OR. Having grown continuously since then, today White Bird Clinic has 10 programs, 220 staff members, and more than 400 volunteers each year. White Bird Clinic is a collective environment organized to empower people to gain control of their social, emotional, and physical well-being through direct service, education, and community.

The mission of the Coalition for Police Accountability is to advocate for accountability of the Oakland Police Department to the community so that the Oakland Police Department operates with equitable, just, constitutional, transparent policies and practices that reflect the values and engender the trust of the community.

Doc Ann’s Essay: White Bird at Fair 🍑

by Rock Medicine’s Medical Director, Dr Ann Cooley

“Can I give you a hug?”  This makes me pause for a moment.  You see I’m not really used to this kind of response from my patients.  As a full-time Emergency Medicine Physician, most of my patients are usually pretty scared and upset from waiting by the time they meet me, and understandably they don’t really feel like hugging.  But that’s not the case here in this dirt-floored clinic in the middle of the Oregon Country Fair.  Here I just put my medical skills to the test removing a large splinter from the hand of a young woman wearing a unicorn leotard, rainbow tutu, lime green fishnets, and glitter.  She pays me with a hug and a thank you, and it feels just as good as actually saving a life.

Rock Medicine at OCFSeveral years ago, I took over as the Medical Director for White Bird’s Rock Medicine program.  We are a fundraising arm for the clinic, and the work we do helps support many of the amazing programs White Bird provides in Eugene and Springfield.  We are a small army of volunteers who attend concerts and festivals throughout the year to help people have a safer party.  Unlike most event medicine programs, we are more than a couple of medics waiting at the back of the crowd.  We are a veritable army of crisis and medical professionals who volunteer our time to care for folks who sustain everything from minor bumps and bruises to dehydration to severe trauma.

My second patient of the day is having shortness of breath.  His long grey hair and beard are equal length, and he’s wearing an OCF staff shirt from when I was in high school.  I give him a breathing treatment, and we laugh about the fact that he does this every year even though he knows the dust will be terrible.  “Some old dogs have no interest in new tricks,” he tells me.  I encourage him to come back at any time.  The day progresses like this with a constant stream of bumps, bruises, and reminders to all who walk by to drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen.  The usual reply to this is, “We love you White Bird!” and while I’m hot and tired my heart is full.

Rock Medicine Booth at OCFMy final patient of the night is a young man.  I don’t know his name because every time we ask, he begins to laugh hysterically and then scream.  It appears he took his party a little too far tonight, and now comes the long journey back down to earth.  In my normal job, I wouldn’t have much choice but to give him medications to calm him down, and I have that option here too, but here at Oregon Country Fair on either side of him sits a crisis worker.  They have just started to sing to him, and they are reassuring him that he’s safe.  He smiles, lays down, and begins a long conversation about interdimensional time travel, and I know he’s going to be just fine.

As we approach the 50th year of the Oregon Country Fair, I am once again preparing to move my medical practice out of the state-of-the-art hospital and into a makeshift exam room.  I’ll be surrounded by hundreds of volunteers who set aside their July weekend every year to come take care of everyone who walks in.  All of our hard work will help raise money to help White Bird continue its amazing programs throughout the rest of the year, and while I love the ability to help with that, mostly I’m looking forward to getting paid in hugs.

Related Story

RockMed All Night Long

White Bird Building New Dental Clinic

Rendering courtesy of GMA Architects, an architecture and design firm in Eugene, Oregon

Download Press Release (PDF)

The new clinic will increase the dental program’s capacity by seventy-five percent.

EUGENE, OREGON – White Bird is constructing an expanded dental clinic at 1415 Pearl St. that will offer urgent and preventative oral health care. The clinic is expected to open in October.

Too many unhoused and low-income community members need dental care that they cannot access. In response, White Bird has purchased the building at 1415 Pearl St. and is developing a dental clinic that increases capacity by 50 patients a week. The new facility will also allow White Bird to serve more elderly patients, children, and families.

Poor oral health presents significant challenges for many unhoused community members. According to Trillium Community Health Plan, many of their patients don’t ever see a dentist. The last two Lane County Community Health Improvement Plans identified access to affordable dental care as a major priority.

The dental clinic was founded in 1995 and has grown continuously since then. The twenty three year old facility is the limiting factor in White Bird’s ability to meet the increased community need for oral health care.

White Bird Clinic has a history of identifying, assessing, and responding to community need by leveraging existing resources. The dental expansion project is a central component of White Bird’s mission of service to low income, under-served community members. Once the new dental clinic is completed, the current clinic facility will be renovated to add a walk-in clinic to White Bird Medical. The new service will provide an alternative to hospital emergency room visits for low-income patients suffering an acute issue, offering compassionate and expert care and substantial cost savings for the community.

In addition to the dental clinic and walk-in medical clinic, White Bird is developing a new crisis center adjacent to the Whiteaker neighborhood as well as expanding CAHOOTS hours and geographic coverage. This is the first time in White Bird’s fifty year history that it has conducted two construction projects and multiple program expansions simultaneously, an indicator of the volume of unmet community need that the agency addresses.

In order to care for our most vulnerable community members, White Bird is taking a risk by growing many different programs at once, and we’re turning to the community for support and partnership. Please call 541.342.8255 or click here to donate to the project of your choice.


In 1969, a group of student activists and concerned practitioners came together to provide crisis services and free medical care for counter-culture youth in Eugene. Having grown continuously since then, today White Bird Clinic has 200 staff members and more than 400 volunteers each year.

White Bird Breaks Ground on New Crisis Center

White Bird is developing an expanded Crisis facility adjacent to Eugene’s Whiteaker Neighborhood

Download Press Release (PDF)

EUGENE, OREGON – White Bird Clinic’s Crisis program will offer expanded walk-in services as well as a telephone crisis line from a renovated facility at 990 W 7th Ave. Construction started April 29th and is expected to be completed in early July. The new location improves access to White Bird services for community members in the Whiteaker and West Eugene.

The new crisis center will house the crisis line phone service, which White Bird has operated 24/7/365 for 50 years, as well as walk-in services in a trauma-informed space. The choice of location is intended to expand White Bird’s presence in the Whiteaker neighborhood as well as its reach into west Eugene and western Lane County.

This safe space is intended to minimize environmental triggers that could be re-traumatizing. In 2018, the crisis team had 13,387 client encounters, 2,743 of them walk-in and 10,644 through the telephone crisis line. There were 4,237 contacts with clients in crisis and 2,976 contacts with clients seeking mental health information and referral. We served 2,006 unhoused clients and diverted 636 emergency room visits.

The crisis center construction is the first of many projects that will increase White Bird’s ability to care for Eugene’s most vulnerable community members. The agency has purchased two new buildings, is developing new dental and medical clinics, and is expanding CAHOOTS coverage and hours.

White Bird is taking a risk and growing to better serve, and is turning to the community for help with the financial resources needed to care for our most vulnerable community members. Contributions support White Bird’s mission and services for those in need. All donations are tax deductible.

In the Media

Public Benefits Assistance with SSI/SSDI Applications

At White Bird, our SOAR-trained Public Benefits Advocate provides assistance to eligible individuals in completing thorough, quality SSDI/SSI applications. The focus is on individuals who are homeless and at risk of homelessness who experience mental health and/or physical health conditions. These services are offered free of charge.

A screening process helps to determine potential eligibility based on many various factors like work history, income, marital status, and resources. The application itself can take a couple of hours to fill out, and it’s important to have all the information ready prior to applying. Potential clients should anticipate meeting with the Benefits Advocate 3-5 times before actually completing the application.

The Benefits Advocate can assist clients in obtaining information, but it will make things go faster if the client has the following information:

  • List of medical sources that have treated the client, with strong focus on the last two years’ records
    • Sources can include: primary care doctors, hospitals and ERs, behavioral health hospitals, mental health counselors, psychiatrists, corrections facilities, education records, vocational rehab or job training programs, social services agencies
  • A list of tests or procedures ordered (x-rays, MRIs, mental health assessments, etc.)
  • A list of medications prescribed (if applicable)
  • The last 15 years’ work history

What the Public Benefits Advocate Can Do:

  • Acts as a representative on the claim – allows the benefits advocate to speak to the Social Security Administration and Disability Determination Services (SSA and DDS) on the client’s behalf. Also receives copies of all correspondence sent to the claimant; can be a consistent point contact person for SSA/DDS.
  • Requests medical records with the claimant’s permission.
  • Assists the claimant in navigating the disability application process, including help filling out reports and responding to requests from SSA/DDS.
  • Makes referrals for other White Bird programs/services, as well as other community resources
  • Helps claimants file a reconsideration for a denied claim (for clients who have already filed an initial claim with the benefits advocate)
  • Make referrals to disability attorneys when appropriate (reconsiderations and Administrative Law Judge hearings).

What the Benefits Advocate Can’t Do:

  • Cannot do it without the client! It is vital that the client stays involved in the process and maintains communication with the Benefits Advocate. MANY disability claims get denied simply because the claimant does not maintain contact or respond to requests from SSA/DDS
  • Cannot guarantee approval on a claim. We screen clients for various eligibility factors and work with people who have a strong chance of being approved, but it is SSA/DDS that makes a determination of disability status.
  • Cannot “expedite” or otherwise speed up the process. We can help the claimant put together a complete application and proactively fill out reports in advance of them being requested, but the agencies that make the decisions are often dealing with a backlog of applications and sometimes things move slowly.
  • Cannot see into SSA’s or DDS’s systems or files. The benefits advocate does not work for SSA or other governmental agencies; the benefits advocate can communicate SSA/DDS and confirm that these agencies have what they need, but does not have direct access to the records.
  • Cannot help apply for other benefits/services – SSI/SSDI only. (No Section 8, housing/rental assistance, SNAP, energy assistance, phones, IDs, birth certificates, etc.)

*SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR) is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and is a national program designed to increase access to the disability income benefit programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for eligible adults who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and have a serious mental illness, medical impairment, and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder.

For more information and to set up an appointment, please contact us.

Crisis 101

Responding to someone in crisis can be difficult, and knowing someone is suicidal can be scary, especially when we’re not sure how to respond. For many of us, our natural reactions to crisis can quickly escalate a situation and make things worse. That’s why professional crisis workers seek out training and practice crisis intervention strategies so that they’re prepared to navigate a crisis situation and offer support. When we develop a plan for offering support in crisis situations, it is more likely we will not go into crisis ourselves when assisting someone.

Often, for those experiencing suicidal thoughts, help can be as simple as having someone to talk to. For many, social isolation, history of trauma, mental health issues, or belonging to historically oppressed groups can lead to periods of suicidal ideation. But how do you know if someone is experiencing suicidal ideation? Often there may be signs of suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

Some warning signs of suicidal ideation can include:

  • Threatening to hurt or kill oneself
  • Seeking access to means to hurt or kill oneself
  • Talking, thinking or writing about death, dying or suicide
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Withdrawing from family, friends or society
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge, appearing agitated or angry
  • Talking about feeling empty, hopeless, or having no reason to live, or being a burden to others
  • Making a plan or looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online, stockpiling pills, or buying a gun
  • Talking about great guilt or shame
  • Feeling unbearable pain (emotional pain or physical pain)
  • Acting recklessly or engaging in risky activities that could lead to death, such as driving extremely fast
  • Giving away important possessions

If these warning signs apply to you or someone you know, get help as soon as possible, particularly if the behavior is new or has increased recently. Suicidal ideation is complex and there is no single cause, people of all genders, ages, and ethnicities can be at risk. In fact, many different factors contribute to someone making a suicide attempt. But people most at risk tend to share certain characteristics known as risk factors.

Often, family and friends are the first to recognize the warning signs of suicidal ideation and can be the first to assist in reaching out and getting help. Showing someone who may be experiencing a crisis that you care can make a world of difference in their life. Know how to start the conversation. Know how to ask, “Are you suicidal?” Know how to say, “I’m here for you,” and really mean it. Be aware of resources available in your community like the White Bird Crisis Line, CAHOOTS Mobile Crisis Services or the Help Book.

Risk Factors vs. Protective Factors

Characteristic and attribute that reduce the likelihood of attempting or completing suicide are known as Protective Factors. They are skills, strengths, or resources that help people deal more adequately with stressful events. Protective Factors enhance resilience and help to counterbalance Risk Factors.

Protective Factors:

  • Effective clinical care for mental, physical, and substance abuse disorders
  • Easy access to a variety of clinical interventions and support for help seeking
  • Family and community support (connectedness)
  • Support from ongoing medical and mental health care relationships
  • Skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, and nonviolent ways of handling disputes
  • Cultural and religious beliefs that discourage suicide and support instincts for self-preservation

Risk factors impact our ability to manage high stress situations. Being aware of these factors can assist if you are in crisis or helping someone in crisis.

Risk Factors:

  • Being exposed to others’ suicidal behavior, such as that of family members, peers, or celebrities
  • Depression, other mental disorders, or substance abuse disorder
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Chronic pain
  • A prior suicide attempt
  • Family history of a mental disorder or substance abuse
  • Family history of suicide
  • Family violence, including physical or sexual abuse
  • Having guns or other firearms in the home
  • Having recently been released from prison or jail

Suicidal thoughts can come on at any time like a tidal wave. Like a tidal wave, suicidal thoughts can leave a wake of destruction in their path.  It is important for someone experiencing these strong thoughts and emotions to have an anchor during one these episodes. Suicidal ideation can make it seem like death is the only way out in that moment. Our rational mind may not be able to see any other solution when amid suicidal ideation. If we can help someone ride out the wave until they receive professional help, the likelihood of suicide is greatly reduced. Below are 10 steps to assist you in helping someone in crisis.

Ten Steps to Help a Person in Crisis

Step 1. Encourage the person to communicate with you.

Step 2. Be respectful and acknowledge the person’s feelings.

Step 3. Don’t be patronizing or judgmental.

Step 4. Never promise to keep someone’s suicidal feelings a secret.

Step 5. Offer reassurance that things can get better.

Step 6. Encourage the person to avoid alcohol and drug use.

Step 7. Remove potentially dangerous items from the person’s home, if possible.

Step 8. Encourage the person to call a suicide hotline number. You as the helper can also call.

Step 9. Encourage the person to seek professional help.

Step 10. Offer to help the person take steps to get assistance and support.

For our 24/7 CAHOOTS mobile crisis services, call the police non-emergency numbers 541-726-3714 (Springfield) and 541-682-5111 (Eugene). For our 24/7 crisis hotline, call 541-687-4000 or toll free at 1-800-422-7558.

CAHOOTS Model Featured in Street Roots Newspaper article “Rethinking our first response”

Kaia Sands, Executive Director of Street Roots, a Portland newspaper that creates income opportunities for people experiencing homelessness and poverty through media that is a catalyst for individual and social change, visited White Bird Clinic’s mobile crisis support program, CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets) this month.

In 2019, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, Police Chief Danielle Outlaw and Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty’s staff have all come to Eugene to learn about the CAHOOTS model response to non-criminal matters resulting from homelessness. Kaia joined our crisis worker and medic team for a shift and shared her story, available in PDF for download here with permission.

Street Roots visit to CAHOOTS helped to inform their plan for a Portland Street Response team. This would be a non-law enforcement system of six well-marked mobile response vans teamed with a specially-trained firefighter-EMT and peer support specialist dispatched through both 911 and nonemergency channels. Street Roots explores how these issues are being responded to in Portland and Eugene and how we can build a better system. Read more (PDF)…

Help Expand CAHOOTS

To celebrate our fiftieth, we’re growing our programs, demonstrating our commitment to serving low income, under-resourced community members. In response to burgeoning community need, we are expanding the hours of CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets) mobile crisis services, which responded to over 23,000 calls in 2018, saving an estimated $6M in emergency medical services costs alone.

End-of-Life Counseling

White Bird Clinic is now offering in-home, end-of-life counseling services provided by licensed/supervised mental health counselors. Compassionate and client-centered, this service seeks to provide support for psychosocial, emotional, and spiritual issues related to death and dying. We serve adults on Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid) as well as homeless individuals or those at risk of becoming homeless. Hours are by appointment only.

Please call 541-342-8255 for more information or email Amy May, CSWA, QMHP at amymay@whitebirdclinic.org .

White Bird Clinic Expanding Dental & Medical Services

White Bird Executive Coordinator Miles Mabray (front) stands with Fund Developer, Chris Hecht, in front of the dental and medical clinic currently serving 2,000 low-income patients annually.
CREDIT TIFFANY ECKERT, KLCC

download press release

EUGENE, OREGON – White Bird Clinic will purchase the building at 1415 Pearl St. and redevelop it into a dental clinic to serve burgeoning community need. The existing dental facilities at 1400 Mill St will be renovated to add urgent care services to White Bird’s medical clinic.

The new building will allow White Bird dental to serve 50 additional patients each week and increase capacity to host student internships. The clinic will also provide denture care for elderly patients and allow White Bird to serve more children and families. White Bird medical’s new urgent care services will provide an alternative to hospital emergency room visits for patients experiencing an acute issue who lack health insurance.

“With the increase in community need for affordable urgent and preventative dental care, we’ve been on the lookout for a larger facility to better serve clients. When this opportunity came up, we knew we had to move on it immediately,” White Bird Dental Program Coordinator Kim Freuen said.

Founded in 1995, the dental clinic provides urgent care as well as preventative care. The program has continuously grown and is now constrained by its 23 year-old facility, and is not operating at optimal capacity due to a shortage of space. This year to date, the dental clinic has provided 4,848 visits for 1,992 patients:

  • 829 for emergency care;
  • 1,322 for hygiene/preventative care; and
  • 2,697 for restorative care.

According to Trillium Community Health Plan, many of their patients don’t ever see a dentist. The last two Community Health Improvement Plans for Lane County identified affordable dental care as a major issue. Poor oral health presents significant challenges for many unhoused community members; White Bird recognizes that need and meets it.

White Bird Medical Clinic provides affordable and friendly medical care to indigent, homeless, low-income, and otherwise marginalized populations, such as community members who are employed but uninsured or underinsured. In addition to staff physicians, there is a behavioral health consultant and a psychiatric prescriber who collaborate with the physicians to offer integrated, holistic care. This year to date, the medical clinic has provided 2,226 visits for 950 patients. 1,020 of those visits were with unhoused patients.

Providing primary care to patients is crucially important, as White Bird’s patients often suffer from multiple complex medical issues that are compounded by socioeconomic barriers to health care and lifestyle changes. These community members face significant barriers as well as discrimination when attempting to access health care institutions in the community, and having White Bird primary care providers advocate for them and coordinate their care is vital.

The new medical urgent care service will divert a great number of emergency room visits, which are very costly for all stakeholders. White Bird Clinic is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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In the News

When Mental-Health Experts, Not Police, Are the First Responders

The Wall Street Journal featured CAHOOTS as a model for reducing risk of violence in a November 24, 2018 article by Zusha Elinson. It is included below and as a PDF with permission from the publisher.

Help Expand CAHOOTS

To celebrate our fiftieth, we’re growing our programs, demonstrating our commitment to serving low income, under-resourced community members. In response to burgeoning community need, we are expanding the hours of CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets) mobile crisis services, which responded to over 23,000 calls in 2018, saving an estimated $6M in emergency medical services costs alone.