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Join us for a panel discussion on some of the basic underpinnings behind these social crises.
Following the disruptions of 2020/2021 and the COVID-19 epidemic, Oregon (including Deschutes County) found itself in the wake of many burgeoning social problems. The number of individuals living without housing has been on the rise and resources have been stretched thin. The number of individuals struggling with addiction has also been growing and access to services remains difficult. Mental health issues including anxiety, depression, and suicidality have also experienced an increase during this time with relatively limited options for treatment.
These social crises continue to face our community and present major challenges for the people of Deschutes County. Join us for a panel discussion on some of the basic underpinnings behind these social crises, how these crises impact the residents of Deschutes County, and how individuals can get help in times of crisis.
The panel discussion includes a brief presentation followed by a question and answer section from the community. Our panelists represent community workers, advocacy groups, and subject matter experts.
The panel includes:
- Colleen Thomas, Homeless Outreach Coordinator with Deschutes County
- Stacey Witte, Founder and Executive Director of REACH
- Talie Wenick, Treatment Liaison and Counselor with Best Care Treatment
- Adam Goggins with Deschutes County Crisis
Question and answer to follow.
Colleen Thomas is the Homeless Services Coordinator for Deschutes County as well as Chairwoman of the Homeless Leadership Coalition, Central Oregon's Continuum of Care. As an advocate, Colleen believes that everyone in our community deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Giving voice to underserved and vulnerable populations is a passion of Colleens. She often feels fortunate to be in a role that allows her to advocate on behalf of those that need it most. It is Colleen's hope to continue to affect change and elevate the needs of our community in the months and years to come.
Stacey Witte is the founder, president and visionary of REACH (Relationship Empowerment Action Compassion Heart). She and her husband moved to Bend in 2016 from the Seattle area, where Stacey was the Director of Case Management and Housing at Congregations for the Homeless for 10 years. In Bend, she wanted to engage with the community in a meaningful way. Stacey soon learned there were numerous supportive services and community partners in the area for those experiencing homeless and she valued the opportunity to build partnerships with the agencies in the region. Stacey brings 16 years of direct service experience in this field, including private practice for at risk teens and youth. Her background in special education crisis management and mental health has been a critical component in building REACH.
Talie Wenick is the Clinical Supervisor for BestCare Treatment Services at their Deschutes Outpatient locations. Throughout her 13 years with BestCare she has worked in a variety of settings, including: Deschutes County Family Drug Court as the Treatment Liaison, Outpatient/Residential Services as the Aftercare Specialist, and at St Charles Hospital with the Community Engagement Team as the Lead Counselor. She is also a person with her own lived experience of addiction, with over 15 years clean and sober. She is a life-long resident of Central Oregon, who enjoys all the beauty of the outdoors and spending time with her family.
Adam Goggins is a Clinical Supervisor at the Deschutes County Stabilization Center in Deschutes County Oregon. Originally from Texas, he has worked in acute care and crisis mental health settings for 10 years. His experience includes working in secure residential treatment facilities, in emergency departments, on mobile crisis teams, on suicide hotlines, at a psychiatric hospital, and at a crisis receiving center. During this time, he has worked with individuals experiencing severe and persistent mental illness and has developed strong connections with local law enforcement agencies. Adam's areas of expertise encompass suicide and homicide risk assessment, crisis de-escalation, and program and systems development.