Oregon short on resources for local mental health treatment

Oregon State Hospital (Salem Reporter/file)

Reforms to Oregon's system for dealing with those unfit to stand trial aren't working as planned, with judges challenged to find local treatment options for those they used to send to the Oregon State Hospital.

As a result, the state hospital has not seen a significant reduction in the number of patients needing hospital-level care. And mental health advocates say legislation passed earlier this year inappropriately left in place language that continues to stigmatize those needing public help.

In recent years, Oregon judges have sent more and more patients to the state hospital for treatment to regain competency to help in their own defense against criminal charges. From 2017 to 2018 there was a 15 percent increase in patients sent to the facility, from 610 to 719. So far in 2019 there . . .