Our current work

Our Current Work

Building Community Capacity

  • Coast to Forest | Extension Family and Community Health | Program website
  • Parenting Education | Statewide hub network (early childhood risks and family environments) | Shauna Tominey
  • Statewide early learning network | Megan McClelland
  • National 4-H Positive Youth Development/Thriving Model for Adolescent Development | Mary Arnold


Policy Relevant Research


Improving Understanding through Research


Improving Workforce through Education

  • Health Equity | Numerous faculty


Contributions to the solutions

Oregon State University is developing a multi-pronged approach to promote the mental and behavioral health of youth and families at the community and policy levels that strategically leverages our resources.


Engaging with communities throughout Oregon

Utilizing the Oregon State Extension Service platform in counties throughout the state, we propose engaging with communities to

  1. Identify their most pressing mental health needs and available community assets
  2. Develop community-based strategies for addressing those needs
  3. Plan to increase resources
  4. Monitor success of these strategies

One strategy is to identify, hire and train community members to work as community health workers with specialty training in mental and behavioral health. These workers can be added to the staff of county-based Extension offices to work in their communities on mental and behavioral health issues, having full access to the resources and support of local and state Extension services and Oregon State faculty. Regional health professionals and campus faculty members can be hired to provide support and expertise to local workers.


Family Education Hubs for Middle-Schoolers

Based on the successful parenting education hubs for young children, we propose developing, evaluating and implementing virtual family education resource centers to address the communication and other parenting needs of families with youth.


Oregon Poverty Index

We propose developing and implementing an Oregon Poverty Index that provides poverty metrics tailored for Oregon policy-makers and community planners.


Community capacity

Our goal is to increase community capacity through training Community Health Workers on mental and behavioral health, with specific attention to supporting capacity building within communities.


Collaborate across systems

We need central planning and supervisory faculty to collaborate across the systems entities at the state level and promote coordination across county-based mental health facilitators. Evaluation and dissemination of the successful strategies would be part of the supervisory faculty responsibilities, as would teaching to promote a prepared workforce.


Thought Leadership

A Thought Leadership Forum would convene key state groups with national experts to assess, coordinate and plan actions addressing mental and behavioral health of youth and families.


Partnerships at the community level

  • Health care systems, including the Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs) that serve the area
  • County public health organizations
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Local community organizations and businesses
  • School districts and local schools
  • Parenting Education hubs to develop, implement and evaluate parenting programs for parents of youth