Ron and Oregon students discuss mental health

Ron heard last week from students in Eugene and Portland about the mental health challenges they and their friends are facing.

Noting his late brother Jeff battled schizophrenia, Ron spoke at Willamette High School in Eugene and at the Portland forum organized by Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran about the importance of treating mental health with the same urgency as physical health.

“We’ve made progress on this issue, but we’re light years away from where we need to be,” Ron said. “This is a must-have conversation that carries life-and death consequences for so many.”

He added in both settings that he is battling to stop the Trump administration’s scheme to distort Medicaid into a block grant ploy that would shortchange health needs, including mental health.

“That would unravel the safety net,” he said. “And they’re going to have to run over me to do it.”

In Eugene, Ron was joined by Lines for Life CEO Dwight Holton, who has worked with Ron to put in place a three-digit national suicide hotline for people of all ages to call if they are contemplating suicide.

Ron also has introduced the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Act, which would help schools provide the mental health counseling needed by so many students. This bill would provide support for schools to have counselor-to-student ratios that are recognized as essential to good mental health.