A mental health aide was stabbed to death over the weekend at the residential treatment facility in the Portland metro area where she worked.
The incident happened at McCarthy Place, a 10-bed apartment complex in Gresham operated by Cascadia Health. It serves people with disabilities and mental health disorders.
Gresham police say the suspect in the health aide’s death, James Smith, was a client there. He’s been taken into custody.
In an email that went out to staff Sunday Cascadia’s President and CEO Derald Walker identified the victim as Haley Rogers, who had worked at Cascadia for five years.
Walker promised Cascadia would assess what happened and “ensure that something like this does not happen again.”
In a statement issued Monday, Cascadia says it is cooperating with the police investigation. The residents at McCarthy Place have been offered support and given temporary housing elsewhere.
Cascadia Health is one of the largest behavioral health and substance use treatment providers in Oregon. Most of the nonprofit’s work and services are funded through contracts with local, state, and federal agencies.
The patients at McCarthy Place include people placed there following stays at the Oregon State Hospital and people connected to housing and treatment through community mental health programs, according to a spokesperson from the Oregon Health Authority.
“Across our community we see the tragedy of unmet mental health needs, and the work we do to overcome those needs often goes overlooked,” Walker wrote in his email to staff. “As we mourn Haley’s sudden and untimely passing, we must all remember that this work is good work. It is important work. And it is needed work for the health of our friends, families, neighbors, and communities.”