Mental Health & Wellness

Supporting Positive Social and Emotional Development for Young Children and Their Families

We have a new process.

In order to insure that our children, families & caregivers (that includes each of you) are served in a trauma informed fashion, we have redesigned our mental health component here at UMCHS. Two of our team members are now designated Mental Health/Child Welfare Coordinators (Kim Ables & Sammi Lane) and we will contract with Chastain & Associates and their five Licensed Mental Health Consultants for increased resources for classroom, site, and individual observations and consultations with teams. Erin Richards, our Caregiver Education & Support Director will oversee the component as one more way to build a continuum of care for all in our community. We are exploring additional supports for our employees to insure there are resources on hand to promote physical, social-emotional & mental wellness, stress reduction and positive problem solving. This neatly ties into the physical side of health & wellness, a component led by Director, Amy Hendrix.

Q: What is the role of the Coordinators?

A:  Coordinators will schedule the Consultations; insuring teams know when to expect the Consultant and what to do to get ready. They will also coordinate any referrals for individual observation requests that come in. Kim will cover Morrow, Umatilla, Union, Malheur, Baker, Harney, Wallowa and Sammi will cover Sherman, Wheeler, Gilliam & Grant Counties.

Q: How do classroom observations occur?

A:   As always, you can expect your classroom observation to occur by December and the Director of Education (Cade) will determine the order of review. Your consultant will spend 5-6 hours per classroom, followed by a helpful report & time with the team to provide support & guidance.

Q: How do I ask for an individual consult for a child or family?

A:   Any program can go to our website under mental health, click REFERRAL and submit with the parent permission form. A copy of the referral request will go right to the Coordinator and your Supervisor. Your Supervisor can respond with additional feedback within 24 hrs. and then a consultation will occur.

Q: I’m a mandated reporter, so if I make a CPS report, what do I do?

A:  Coordinators will be notified by each of you when a CPS report is made using the same forms as always and they will follow up & update the team as necessary or advised by DHS. They may represent UMCHS at regional MDTs.

Q: Will there be a database and a way to see trends?

A:  We will have encrypted databases as well as Child Plus to capture reports. As Co-coordinator for the Hub, Cade will collect data and report to the community.

Q: Should we still refer families to local mental health providers?

A:  Yes, absolutely! Local services for counseling & mental health crisis continue.

UMCHS Mental Health Liasons

  • Kim Ables 541-667-6091

    I have worked as a home visitor and parent/coach/trainer for 3 years. I desire to make a difference in the lives of families by working with parents and their children together. I see every family as having strengths rather than deficits, even though many of those individuals have a difficult time believing they do. My greatest source of learning comes from the very families that are served. In my spare time, I have an intense love for the outdoors and motorcycles. A typical weekend includes riding motorcycles, camping and spending time with family & friends.

  • Sammi Lane 541-256-0869

    I have a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico. As an education manager, mental health coordinator and family advocate, I’m proud to stand with and support the rural communities of the Tri-County area, along with Grant County. I’m an active community member in the Tri-County area and have been for several years. Part of my life is being active in the rodeo circuit and am passionate about serving families in need.

  • Erin Richards, Director 541-667-6091

    Parents are the experts of their families and should be honored for their role in creating happy homes for children. My greatest passion is to bring parenting education and well-being to the families we serve through many modalities; home visiting, parenting classes, workshops, support groups, family activities and more. Parents are the backbone champions of our community and sometimes need extra support during challenging times as they raise their children; I am proud to be a part of that support system. My educational background includes a Master’s Degree in Human Development and Family Relations. I have a BS in Consumer and Family Sciences. On weekends you can find me enjoying a bike ride, kayaking/paddle boarding on the Columbia River or at a movie.