Oregon’s Youth Mental Health System Strengthened by Harmony Academy’s Presence

AJ, 17, and MJ, 17, walk back into Harmony Academy Recovery High School after gym class on a Friday in March. The school, located in Lake Oswego, is situated on a retirement and assisted living campus, offering support for its 40 students. The building, once an orphanage, now exudes a sense of community with its student artwork on the walls and reminders of togetherness.

The red building smells of old wood and stacks of paper, with baggy jeans, experimental makeup, and purposefully unkempt hair filling the space. The hallway is short, lined with old couches and chairs, creating a comfortable atmosphere. A large handmade poster encourages students with the message, “We are in this together.”

In recent years, Oregon’s struggles with providing adequate mental health treatment have become more visible. The Oregonian/OregonLive aims to shed light on the barriers to quality care, identify policy failures, and highlight a path forward. The teen recovery series explores Oregon’s youth behavioral health system in comparison to other states and delves into the lengths parents must go to ensure their children’s safety.

To better understand the experiences of students at Harmony Academy Recovery High School, The Oregonian/OregonLive interviewed 15 teens, five parents, and various educators and service providers. Spending around 2 1/2 months at the school, the newsroom chose not to use full names of the students to protect their privacy as minors. For continued coverage on mental health in Oregon, visit oregonlive.com/mentalhealth.

By Samantha Robertson

As a seasoned content writer at newsderf.com, my passion for storytelling and creativity shines through in every article I craft. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for research, I thrive on translating complex topics into engaging reads that resonate with our diverse audience. My goal is to inform, entertain, and inspire readers through thought-provoking content that leaves a lasting impact. Join me on this exciting journey as we explore the world of news together.

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