Deschutes County residents 18 years of age or older that meet the following criteria may be referred to the Deschutes County Mental Health Court (MHC) program:

  1. Individual must have an Axis I serious mental illness as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR).
  2. Individual must be willing to participate in the program. MHC is a voluntary program.
  3. Charges must be filed with Deschutes County Circuit Court. Only pending charges will be considered for entry into the program.
  4. Individuals with substance use issues must be willing to acknowledge the problem and be willing to participate in substance use treatment.

"Serious mental illness" refers to any individual who is 18 years or older and is diagnosed with a mental disorder which includes these conditions:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Serious affective disorder,
  • Paranoid disorders
  • Other chronic psychotic disorders (which manifests symptoms that are not solely a result of mental retardation or other developmental disabilities, epilepsy, drug abuse, or alcoholism).

These disorders must be likely to continue for more than one year and substantially limit the individual’s consistent functioning in one or more of the following areas: home environment, activities of daily living, ability to obey the law, social relations, and employment.

Residency requirements: It is a requirement that the defendant continue to reside in Deschutes County for the duration of their participation in Mental Health Court.  Exceptions to this policy may be approved, but are not guaranteed. Transfers out of state or to other Mental Health Court programs within the state may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

How to make a referral to Mental Health Court:

  1. Any community justice partner can refer a defendant for consideration to Mental Health Court.
  2. A referral is made to the Mental Health Court Coordinator or designee by submitting a referral form (please see referral form located on this web page)
  3. A release of information must be fully signed by the defendant to allow communication between the referral source and the Mental Health Court Coordinator.
  4. The referral form is available in the Supporting Documents below.  If you have questions about the referral process or need a referral form sent to you, please contact Stephanie Koustopoulos with Deschutes County Behavioral Health at (541) 322-7520.