In Appreciation Of Our Crisis Line Volunteers

July 30, 2010

The Crisis Lines Program is currently training another group of wonderful people to be volunteer crisis workers.

As a trainer, this is the fifth training that I have participated in. Each and every time we train, I am awestruck. Amazed by the emotional depth and breadth of experience that our volunteers bring to the training, and later – to the program.

Our training is an emotionally intense fifty-six hour program. One of our goals in the training is to pack a lot of content into this fifty-six hour period. But in order to meet people where they’re at in moment of crisis, we have to blend this training content with in-the-moment processing of both emotion and content.

This is not easy for many people to do. And yet, every few months, we have a full training room of people taking this courageous leap into being with complete strangers in their most difficult moments, holding onto the thread of a phone line. And the training room itself is full of a depth and range of experiences that I know must be difficult to find in any other room in the city.

When I facilitate a training that attracts such incredible people, my most important task much of the time is just to stay out of the way, and let the group step into the experience of being a volunteer crisis worker.

There’s nothing else like it.

– David C.


Every Day, 18 Veterans Take Their Own Lives

July 28, 2010

As I was researching background information for OP’s Military Helpline, this tragic statistic came up: 20% of the suicides in our country are by Veterans.

That means an average of 18 per day.

Oregon Partnership has established a Military Helpline to meet the tremendous and growing need for compassionate, confidential crisis intervention and referral.  The line  is operated by highly trained and dedicated staff and volunteers who are on hand around the clock. Many possess a military background, bringing a strong understanding of the daunting challenges our citizen soldiers and their families face. The number is 888 HLP 4 VETS (888-457-4838). The website is .

There is no question that America must do right by the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country.

After experiencing war, life back home can be overwhelming.  Issues such as unemployment, family strife, the loss of a home, PTSD and other serious health care concerns descend as soldiers return from long – and often repeated – deployments. These challenges may stop them from seeking help at all.

Soldiers, veterans and their families desperately need the immediate and confidential help that 24 hour crisis lines offer – crisis lines operated outside the military and the Veterans Administration.

At Oregon Partnership, we’re proud to be able to stand in that gap.

– Tom


July 16, 2010

A new SAMHSA study shows the dramatic increase in prescription drug abuse, necessitating the need for more drug prevention efforts among teens.

So what WILL be the effects of legalizing marijuana? Not good.

July 14, 2010

Good article in the Sacramento Bee about a RAND study on the effects of legalizing marijuana in California…

Oregon Partnership Names Tom Parker as Communications Director

July 6, 2010

   Oregon Partnership, a statewide non-profit organization committed to providing alcohol and drug prevention education and treatment referral, has hired a highly respected Portland media/marketing professional as its new communications director.

Tom Parker, long-time broadcast personality and spokesman, joins the staff of Oregon Partnership, effective immediately.

“We received 70 applications for the Communications Director position, and Tom was selected from an outstanding field of candidates from the media, broadcast, and public relations world,” said Judy Cushing, OP President/CEO.  “I’m thrilled to have Tom as a partner in educating Oregonians about issues related to substance abuse and suicide.”
Many of you know Tom from his 13 year tenure at K103FM / Clear Channel where he was the very popular host of K103’s live afternoon radio show.
Tom went on to host a talk show on KPAM Radio and has most recently worked in strategic planning and core message development with a local ad agency.  He takes over for Pete Schulberg, who has served as OP’s Communications Director for the past four years.
“I’m delighted to be passing the communications baton to Tom,” said Schulberg. “I’m confident he will enhance the initiatives we have in place and expand avenues to reach even more people with our message of hope.”
Parker’s most recent efforts have focused on community involvement through various charitable organizations including Engineers Without Borders and Medical Teams International.
“I am excited to help make folks aware of Oregon Partnership’s mission to end substance abuse and suicide,” said Parker.  “One of our first orders to business is to get the word out about OP’s new confidential Military Helpline, a great opportunity for returning soldiers, vets and their families to get the help they need.”
Founded in 1993, Oregon Partnership is a 501-3c non-profit organization whose mission is to end substance abuse and suicide.
 OP is the state’s leading non-profit organization that promotes healthy communities through drug and alcohol awareness, prevention programs, and 24-hour crisis lines for treatment referral, crisis counseling, and suicide intervention.
OP’s crisis lines are now receiving more than 35-thousand calls annually, including an increasing number of calls for help from veterans and returning soldiers.  As a result, OP has recently begun offering more outreach and assistance to the military community in Oregon with a Military Helpline at 888-HLP-4-VETS (888-457-4838).

To learn more, visit

Big Victory for Oregon Anti-Drug Coalition with Borders Books

July 1, 2010

Here’s a good example of positive action taken to discourage drug use among youth….A press release from Umpqua Partners:

Concern expressed by a community volunteer of UMPQUA PARTNERS FOR A DRUG-FREE FUTURE, a drug prevention coalition in Douglas County, has resulted in Borders Group, Inc. taking positive action to ensure adult oriented products be placed in a top shelf location far away from view of children and teens.

Marlene Petersen, one of the founding members of Umpqua Partners, visited Waldenbooks in Roseburg and noted marijuana publications placed in a prominent location behind the counter, surrounded by merchandise marketed to and intended for children or teens.

 “As a parent, grandparent and community member committed to reducing alcohol and other drug abuse, I was concerned that this product placement was sending the wrong message to our kids and may encourage drug use among youth,” said Petersen. The board of directors of Umpqua Partners agreed.

On June 4, a letter from the board of directors of Umpqua Partners was sent to Borders Group, Inc. asking that they voluntarily establish and communicate to their franchise affiliates a policy prohibiting placement of publications that may promote drug use near products that are marketed to and intended for children and teens.

Borders Group, Inc. and Roseburg franchise affiliate, Waldenbooks responded swiftly. In a letter to Umpqua Partners dated June 17 and received June 24, Chris Nichols, Customer Services Director for Borders, states “We take our role as a member of the local community very seriously, and when a concern is brought to our attention we address these matters with a great sense of urgency.”

Marijuana publications in the Roseburg store have been moved to appropriate shelf locations away from products intended for children or teens.

Umpqua Partners works to reduce and prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse in Douglas County, especially among our youth. “Kids are especially vulnerable to the influence of their environment and what they see. Everyone in the community has a role in keeping our kids safe and drug-free,” said Patti LaFreniere, Executive Director of Umpqua Partners. “We commend Borders for policy that clearly demonstrates their commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles and drug-free communities and Roseburg’s Waldenbooks store for taking positive action by moving the identified merchandise to comply with corporate guidelines,” said LaFreniere.

It is reassuring to know our kids will not be exposed to images that may promote drug use when they visit a Borders Group bookstore.
For additional information on how you can help reduce and prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse in Douglas County call Umpqua Partners at 541-672-5905 or via e-mail at