History

In winter 1987, a mentally ill homeless woman moved into the First Presbyterian Church in Cottage Grove. Because there were no community mental health or housing resources available, church members allowed her to stay. However, she became paranoid and psychotic and was admitted to a Portland-area psychiatric facility for treatment.

Social workers recommended a residential placement for the woman upon her release, but there was no housing for persons with psychiatric disabilities in Cottage Grove.

In response, the First Presbyterian Church formed a committee to determine whether a local mental health service could be created in Cottage Grove. A community board of directors was formed and began the process of incorporating as a private non-profit.

The next year, the organization, first called “Bohemia Residential Community”, began providing residential services to five people in a house donated by a church member.

Since then, South Lane Mental Health has become the region’s largest comprehensive mental health services provider.

Milestones

1987 Mentally ill homeless woman takes up residence at First Presbyterian Church
1988 Bohemia Residential Community founded
1991 Bohemia Residential Community becomes a qualified Medicaid provider
1992 Agency name changed to South Lane Mental Health
First full-time executive director hired
1994 South Lane Mental Health awarded funds to help patients from state hospitals transition to living in the community
1995 Move to offices on North Ninth Street and begin offering outpatient services
Hired the first medically qualified individual in South Lane County with a specialty in managing psychiatric medications
1997 South Lane Mental Health contracts with Lane County to provide mental health services to individuals covered by the Oregon Health Plan
2004 Begin providing services to children through relationships with Head Start, South Lane Family Relief Nursery, and South Lane School District
2008 In partnership with South Lane Mental Health, the City of Cottage Grove wins a Community Development Block Grant to purchase and renovate a new community mental health facility at 1345 Birch Ave. in Cottage Grove
2009 South Lane Mental Health hosts the Town & Country Garden Tour, a community outreach effort
2010 Move from rented quarters to a permanent home at 1345 Birch Ave.
South Lane Mental Health becomes a United Way agency
2011 Purchase and renovate the former Community Health Education Center building at 1245 Birch Ave.
Become certified to provide Intensive Community-based Treatment Services (ICTS) for children and their families
2012 In collaboration with United Way of Lane County and the 100% Access Coalition, South Lane Mental Health provided administrative oversight of a community health worker pilot project
2014 Chosen as one of five Lane County non-profit organizations to receive funds from The Great Rotary Duck Race
Host final year of the Town & Country Garden Tour
2015 Celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month
2017 Launch a Recovery Services program for adolescents, and for adults with dual mental health and substance use disorder diagnoses as well as chronic pain