MHAO is an inclusive peer-run organization dedicated to self-direction honoring the voice of lived experience.


MHAO's Vision:

MHAO is committed to promote self-directed recovery and wellness for all individuals. We honor lived experiences. We support people wherever they are on their journey, free from judgement, or agenda. We support these aims through: education, advocacy, recovery, peer services, training, technical assistance, community collaboration, and through developing peer work force and leadership.


MHAO's Core Values:

  • We at MHAO believe that all individuals who experience mental health and/or addiction challenges can recover and that recovery, its journey and process, is unique to the individual.
  • We believe that recipients of our services have the right and the ability to make decisions for themselves about what supports they would prefer to receive and the directions they wish to explore.
  • We believe the role of any MHAO team member regardless of position, is not to infringe on the choices made by the individuals we serve, but to offer support toward mutually agreed upon goals and to offer feedback or possible options and resources, as requested by those individuals.


All programs and services offered by MHAO as well as how MHAO team members communicate with one another and outside providers shall be guided by these core values.



Mental Health Association of Oregon has existed in some form for more than 35 years. Just prior to 2001, MHAO had become a program at Oregon Advocacy Center.


Mental Health Association of Oregon receives a bequest that allows it the ability to organize as a independent nonprofit once again.  

Its primary activities were systems advocacy.


MHAO awarded first round of funding for the Oregon Consumer/
Survivor Network.


Mental Health Association of Oregon changed its name to Mental Health America of Oregon


MHAO wins two awards from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):
Project Open and Peerlink


MHAO expands its services to include Peer Directed Services