In February 2008, OHSU’s Behavioral Health Clinic was renamed the Avel Gordly Center for Healing to meet the mental health needs of the African American community, as well as the diverse populations of Oregon. One of the goals of the Center is to take away the shame associated with mental illness. The African American Mental Health Commission worked for several years to advocate for culturally-responsive mental health services. Mental health needs assessments and associated studies have showed that mental health services to the African American community are of greater impact and effect when implemented through an organization developed by those most familiar with African American culture.
The Avel Gordly Center for Healing is a program in the Department of Psychiatry of OHSU. It is funded with state and county funds and client fees and supported by volunteer professional on the African American Mental Health Commission.