Bushnell University Supports Lane County Stabilization Center and Faith Community Event to Address Mental Health Concerns Locally

On Monday, June 5, 2023 Lane County hosted an event for the Faith community to hear from key leaders about current mental health concerns and an upcoming strategy to address them. The aim was to address the existing gap in access to resources and seek input from community members to inform effective solutions.


Co-sponsored by Bushnell University and One Hope Network, this event brought together individuals from various backgrounds to engage in meaningful discussions and foster collaborations to tackle mental health challenges in Lane County. Chapala Mexican Restaurant generously provided a courtesy lunch for all attendees.


Panel speakers at the event included:

Dr. Pauline Gichohi – Behavioral Health Division Manager: Dr. Gichohi is the Community Mental Health Director for Lane County, overseeing both the Behavioral Health Clinic and the larger behavioral health system work provided by community-based organizations. Her expertise and involvement in essential behavioral health transformation initiatives and policy work make her a key contributor to the field.


Sheriff Cliff Harrold – Lane County Sheriff: Sheriff Harrold has been an integral part of the Lane County Sheriff’s Office since 1990. With his extensive experience and background in law enforcement, he brings valuable insights into the intersection of mental health and public safety.


Commissioner Pat Farr – Lane County Commissioner: Commissioner Farr’s extensive community engagement and professional background, including his role as the Executive Director of FOOD for Lane County, provide him with a deep understanding of the challenges faced by individuals experiencing mental health crises in the county.


Lane County has recognized the need for a Stabilization Center that can effectively treat individuals in behavioral health crisis and connect them to long-term solutions. With the support of community partners, Lane County aims to open a Stabilization Center by 2025, which will play a crucial role in addressing mental health challenges. Attendees got to hear from the panelists, participate in table conversations, and fill out a survey.


Bushnell University alumni Britni D’Eliso ’10, M.A.’15, organized the event and serves as the Behavioral Health Project Manager at Lane County Health and Human Services.


“I am thrilled to see the collaborative efforts between local government, social services and the Faith Community,” shares D’Eliso. “As an alumni of Bushnell University and member of a local church, I understand the value of our faith community giving input into the development of comprehensive mental health resources in for Lane County residents. This was one of many efforts to educate and empower individuals so they can provide informed feedback. Together, we can build a stronger, more resilient community where individuals facing mental health challenges can find the support and care they need.”


Local pastor Neil Johnston from Norkenzie Christian Church and member of the One Hope pastors network in Lane County opened the event in prayer.


“Heading into the Stabilization Center meeting I wasn’t sure what the purpose or scope of the project was,” said Johnston. “But leaving the meeting I was grateful! This will be an amazing resource to help people in our community who are struggling with mental health issues. I am also grateful for the excellent work of our city leaders who shared the need and cast the vision for the Stabilization Center with us so early in the process.”


Take the Stabilization Center Community Survey


Lane County is interested in your voice playing a vital role in shaping the future of the Stabilization center, design, programming, and effectiveness.


About the Stabilization Center

The Stabilization Center will offer 24/7access for anyone experiencing a mental health or addiction crisis in Lane County. Immediate triage and intake for care, a range of behavioral health services, connections to specialty and long-term support, as well as discharge with transportation and warm handoffs, will be provided to ensure comprehensive care. Read more about the services at the Stabilization Center here. 


The Stabilization Center will be person-centered, emphasizing the importance of support for long-term healing. It will be accessible to all community members and committed to ensuring safety for those seeking assistance.


The center will have immediate intake available for referrals from healthcare, behavioral health, and social service providers, as well as mobile crisis drop-offs, walk-ins, and law enforcement drop-offs as an alternative to arrest. Capacity estimates suggest that the Stabilization Center will have the ability to serve 42 individuals at at time, with a focus on providing short term crisis services for adults, longer term stabilization beds for adults and flexible crisis services for youth.


The impact of the Stabilization Center is projected to benefit over 8,200 unique individuals annually, including more than 6,700 unique adults and over 1,500 unique youth.


Faith Based Mental Health Resources

Bushnell remains committed to holistic education and recognizing the importance of mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being for individuals and the community as a whole. A resource guide of Faith Based Community Resources was created for the event and can be downloaded here.


For further information about the Lane County Stabilization Center and its upcoming initiatives, please visit their official website at https://www.lcstabilizationcenter.com. To learn more about the counseling services offered by Bushnell University and community resources visit https://www.bushnell.edu/life-at-bushnell/wellness-safety/counseling-center.


About Bushnell University

Founded in 1895 Bushnell University helps students discover and answer God’s call on their lives. Devoted to offering a Christ-centered environment, Bushnell encourages students to grow in wisdom, informed by faith, leading to lives of service. Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the University was founded by pastor-educator Eugene C. Sanderson and pioneer businessman and church leader James A. Bushnell.


Bushnell is the largest private university in Eugene’s vibrant University District. The University offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees for undergraduate and graduate studies through course formats on campus, online, and hybrid formats. More information about the University is available at www.bushnell.edu.



*Photo credit Sarah A. Koski