Mental Health & Oregon’s Crisis
Addressing mental health is so important. So is checking in with ourselves, family and friends, consistently. (And maybe a therapist if you have, or were thinking about getting one.) This is especially true if you are an adult residing in Oregon, according to statistical data on the prevalence of mental illness in the country. According to Mental Health America (MHA), Oregon is ranked at 51, with high rates of mental illness and suicide, paired with “lower rates of access to care”, making a mental molotov cocktail for Oregonians. Of course, there are factors such as trauma, chemical imbalance, genetics, lifestyle influences, amongst others that can affect an individual’s mental health.
Everyone deserves to put their mental well-being first, but that being said, it is not always easy. Sometimes when someone is in the thick of a crisis they cannot verbally communicate efficiently, or carry out the tasks that you believe would essentially fix their problem. This is a sign of mental illness. You do not have to have gone through trauma to experience mental illness, nor do you need to match up perfectly with a list of symptoms. Everyone has their own experiences and their own treatments that work for them. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor and let them know what’s going on, and from there they can help diagnose or refer you to specialists. Being honest with yourself and those around you can be the most beneficial thing you do for yourself.
What You Can Do
Look out for these signs that you, or someone you know, are struggling with mental health: https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Know-the-Warning-Signs
Be empathetic to everyone, as you do not know what they are going through.
Make mental health conversations habitual with the people in your life.
Don’t forget that you can’t help others without helping yourself first.
***Please talk to somebody if you need help, you are not alone.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/): 1-800-273-TALK for English, 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish, or Lifeline Crisis Chat (https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/).
Disaster Distress Helpline (https://www.samhsa.gov/disaster-preparedness): 1-800-985-5990 (press 2 for Spanish), or text TalkWithUs for English or Hablanos for Spanish to 66746. Spanish speakers from Puerto Rico can text Hablanos to 1-787-339-2663.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) for persons and families facing mental disorders, substance use disorders, or both: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline, 1-800-662-HELP, or TTY 1-800-487-4889.
NAMI Oregon Online Support Groups: https://namior.org/nami-oregon-online-support-groups/
What is Hoarding Disorder?
Hoarding is often unfairly deduced to laziness. In reality, hoarding is a mental condition with an insistent and compulsive need to acquire and save items; giving them an intense fear or discomfort to discard anything. Hoarding goes beyond collecting, it causes dysfunction and disruption to the lives affected. From our experience at Bio-One we’ve seen both consistent and inconsistent patterns in acquisition. We typically see mixtures of garbage, storage containers, cardboard boxes, books, plastic bags, or household supplies. Some people also hoard animals.
There are many symptoms and ways to tell if you or a loved one is struggling from a hoarding disorder, including but not limited to “...associated problems such as indecisiveness, perfectionism, procrastination, disorganization and distractibility.” (American Psychiatric Association 2021). You can also detect changes in mood, personality and social behaviors.
The psychological effects of this condition are serious and need to be monitored with care to see they don’t progress into dangerous territory. “It has been associated with a wide range of conditions, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, OCD, and schizophrenia. A third of people with autism spectrum disorder are thought to hoard particular items.” In 2018, the World Health Organization added hoarding to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), in hopes to promote research and take this disorder more seriously. It is their hope that this will lead to a more sympathetic representation of hoarding in the media and more respect for the people who live with this disorder.
The Physical Danger
There also needs to be attention given to the physical hazards present and potential. No matter what the person is hoarding, there are risks of items avalanching, tripping hazards, fire hazards, and infestations that can accumulate and cause structural damage to the home. You also need to consider whether first responders could reach the residents in a case of emergency.
Help is Available
Here at Bio-One, we understand the premises of this disorder and want only to create a compassionate and trusting environment to help you start this uneasy process towards healing. We will ask, and listen, to any needs and wants. Our goal isn’t to take over your space, but to work with you to create a more happy and healthy home for you to thrive in.
Hoarding disorder: A medical condition. (2018). The Lancet
What is Hoarding Disorder? (2021) American Psychiatric Association https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/hoarding-disorder/what-is-hoarding-disorder
So You Think You Need Bio-One?
Here at Bio-One, we are dedicated to helping people through their messy times. “Help first, Business second” is our mission statement that we are highly committed to. Crime and trauma scene cleanup isn’t easy, and often seems impossible, which is exactly why we are here. We want to take the overwhelming load off of you and get you focusing on your fresh start. We offer biohazard cleanup and remediation services for decontaminating and disinfection.
“I'm not sure where to begin. How does this process work?”
First, we want you to know that there isn’t much we haven’t seen or cleaned. We understand the natural level of anxiety and embarrassment that tends to accompany these situations and those feelings are normal, but we don’t want them to stop you from getting the help you need. That being said, we do need your full cooperation in order for us to do our job as efficiently as possible. Honesty is vital in not only job performance, but ensuring the safety of our crew and yourselves. Our team is thoughtfully curated to have skilled biohazard cleaning technicians who are passionate about their job.
So, once the initial call is made, whether it be by a friend, family member, property owner, or the hoarder themselves, we are able to dive into the situation and what we can do for you. And again, the more honest you are with us about the problem, the more honest we can be with you about the solution. Of course, everyone can have a different idea of “how bad” a situation is, so we always try to make it out to the scene to see for ourselves to give you the most accurate bid. Our bids are always free and take just about 30 minutes to view the scene. We will talk to whoever the point of contact may be, and take pictures, with your permission, for later review. These photos are always confidential unless discussed otherwise. These bids are for us to acquire a better understanding of your needs and an opportunity for us to share what we see is needed. We like to lay out what the process should look like so you are fully aware of what we’re doing. We are also open to discuss and answer questions before, during and after the job.
After we’ve been able to view the property ourselves, we can head back to the office to review photos, crunch numbers and piece together a detailed job proposal and cost estimate in writing for you.
“What are the factors that go into bidding a hoarding clean-up job?”
There are quite a few variables for jobs like this. Here are a few:
What is the size of the home?
How many floors does it have, and is there a basement or a garage and/or shed?
Just how much clutter is there and how many dumpsters will be needed?
Are there bio-hazards such as feces, urine, blood, or needles inside the home?
How many of my crew members will we need and how long will it take us to finish the job?
Is there water damage or mold?
Are there mice, roaches, or any other creatures in the home?
All of these questions, and many more, need to be considered when preparing an estimate.
I hope this has answered some of your questions about the hoarding clean-up process. I also hope it has alleviated some of your concerns. We hear time and time again from clients that have tried to clean up a property themselves, only to barely scratch the surface, become quickly overwhelmed, and realize that it would take them months, if not years, to finish the job. We take great pride in making the process as easy and stress free for my clients, usually finishing the job in 2-3 days, with unbelievable results. If you have any situation you would like to discuss, whether it be about hoarding or any other bio-hazard clean-up situation, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Owners: Phill and Angela Kirton
Phone: (503) 277-8763
Protecting your property from damages and odors is a necessary investment too many homeowners forget to do. Here at Bio-One we have been able to help countless property managers and homeowners relieve foul odors and debris from their homes. Let’s talk about some of the most common issues property owners come across and how we can help.
Issue #1 Contaminated attics/crawl spaces
If there has ever been a mice issue in the home and a foul odor it's very likely due to rodent feces. Unfortunately mice like to nest in crawl spaces and attics and leave behind droppings. This can be a major source of odor for the home if not treated correctly.
What Bio-One can do about this
Whether the issue is in the crawl space or attic we will remove all contaminated insulation and vapor barrier. We will also be able to utilize our chemical treating process to eliminate any remaining odor.
Issue #2 junked homes
Trashed out homes can be a real stress to clean out when a tenant leaves. Often rotting food, garbage and even human waste can be left in these homes. It also means it can attract rodents if not dealt with correctly.
How Bio-One remediates this
We have the expertise and experience to remediate these situations in as little as 1-2 days! We can not only remove all the contents of the home but also deep clean it making it move in ready right away. Utilizing Bio-One saves the cost of hiring 3-4 different cleaning professionals because we can do all of it! Schedule a free estimate by calling us at 503-277-8763.
Portland Crime Scene Clean Up
Violent Crime in the city is at an all time high this year. While we can’t stop the unthinkable from happening we can intervene in the families lives and help save them from further trauma.
Why utilize a professional?
Blood clean up in Portland should only be done by professionals like the team here at Bio One. Without proper training you run the risk of catching diseases from bloodborne pathogens. If the Biohazards are not cleaned properly they could even cause structural damage to the house as well as further odors.
The team here at Bio One PDX understands the complexity and trauma of those affected. We believe no one should have to go through the pain of cleaning up after a loved one. That's why we go through a rigorous process to “erase” the scene so that no one has to retraumatize themselves.
Response time is everything. We know that there are important documents and personal items to retrieve from the home. That's why we can often be on sight within an hour if need be. Our phone is available 24/7 for any emergency.
What is Hoarding Disorder?
Hoarding disorder is a mental health condition that makes it very difficult to let go of personal belongings. This disorder has a wide range of affects in how it comes up in peoples lives but it usually means that the home has too much stuff and needs to be decluttered and reorganized.
How to Know if Someone is a Hoarder
Just because someone has a lot of stuff does not mean they are a hoarder. Sometimes we serve those who need to declutter and remove items they haven't gotten to in a long time. Other times we are helping those experiencing extreme emotional turmoil when they see there stuff sorted through. If a home is filled with stuff and the person living there struggles with throwing anything away, that may be a sign of hoarding disorder.
Different Levels Of Hoarding
Hoarding can show up in vastly different ways depending on the person. The first picture above is what a typical level 1-2 hoard looks like. The second is a typical level 4-5 hoard. Both need attention and can cause serious health and safety concerns for those living there.
When To Get Help
Deciding when to get help can be a daunting and difficult task. It's always recommended to seek help when the condition of the home impedes function of critical areas like the kitchen and bathroom. So if the kitchen and bathrooms are not being fully utilized due to clutter, seeking professional help is strongly encouraged. Another sign to start looking for help is if exiting the home is difficult to do in a timely manner. This is important because if an emergency came up one would have struggles accessing important exit points.
What Bio-One Can Do to Help
At Bio-One we have seen just about everything when it comes to hoarding. Our mission is to help transform peoples homes into safe and beautiful living conditions again. We do this by helping sort, throwaway, donate and organize the home. Our crew is kind, discreet and compassionate. If you need help with your situation give us a call and we would be happy to assist you.
Portland crawl space cleanouts
Have you ever noticed an odor in your home and can’t figure out where it’s coming from? Or how about some unexplained respiratory problems? You may have a problem in your crawl space. Some of the air you’re breathing is coming from the crawlspace and this could be bad news if your crawl space is contaminated with rodent feces and urine.
What is a crawl space?
A crawl space is the area under the floor that holds the ventilation system, wiring and support beams that your home sits on. They are usually just a couple feet tall and require people to crawl through in order to do plumbing or electrical work.
I’ve had odor or rodent issues in the past, What should I do?
If you have ever had rodent issues or unexplained odors, you are going to want to have your crawl space inspected and cleaned right away. Rodents love to hang out in the crawl space and can leave trails of droppings and pools of urine before they move on to somewhere else or just simply die in your crawlspace. What makes this issue even worse is that all your air ducts run through the crawl space and will pick up all the foul smelling odor and bacteria left from the rodents. This could lead to some serious health problems.
What can Bio-One do to help?
Bio-One specializes in biohazard and odor remediation. Once we get the go ahead to work on a crawl space we will first and foremost identify the source of the odor and come up with a plan to remediate the problem. Typically what we see on the jobs is a mixture of rodent wastes and standing water passing the odor through the vents and subfloor of the home.
Our process for complete odor removal
What we do to solve this issue is by first removing insulation that has rat nests and feces. Next we remove any standing water, rodent droppings, nests, organic debris/nesting material, and contaminated vapor barrier. We then replace the old vapor barrier with a new vapor barrier to help control the humidity from damaging your homes foundation and support beams. Lastly we use our chemical treating process to break down and eliminate odors that are absorbed into the wood structures.
Unattended death cleaning
Losing someone you love is something no one can mentally or physically prepare for. The pain and trauma that comes in the wake of an unexpected death often leaves family and friends in confusion and shock. Amidst this confusion, individuals may feel like they need to take care of the scene themselves and clean it. This could be very dangerous and further traumatize the individual.
What to do immediately after an unexpected death
After law enforcement and family have been notified you will want to contact a Biohazard cleaning company right away. This will help protect family and friends from further traumatizing themselves when they go and collect important documents and belongings. If you are in this situation right now you can call our 24/7 emergency line at 503-277-8763. The owner will pick up and help you navigate this situation.
Can’t I just clean it myself?
Unattended death and bio-hazard cleaning is much more complicated than just ordinary cleaning. This is because the decomposition process begins rather quickly and releases harmful bacteria to all the contaminated areas. This bacteria is what causes the odor during decomposition. It is crucial to be aware that:
Will insurance cover this?
Yes. If the deceased has a homeowners insurance policy they will most likely cover the cost of the cleanup. Our team works very closely with the insurance company to make sure that they cover the cost of the service. We will even cover the cost of the deductible in most cases.
What to do if you’re unsure about an insurance policy.
We have come across many situations where a tragedy has happened and there is no knowledge about whether or not there is a homeowners insurance policy. In the immediate fall out of a tragedy this won't hinder our response time to a job sight. We believe that no family member should ever be exposed and re-traumatized by cleaning up the loss of a loved one. This means we do whatever we can to discount the price and make it affordable for those paying out of pocket. We often go into a job knowing that it may be done pro bono.
Don't let anyone become further traumatized by this event. Reach out to Phill or Angela at 503-277-8763 and they will help you right away.
The California Police Athletic Federation (CPAF) is proud to announce that the 2021 United States Police & Fire Championships (USPFC) are now Presented by Bio-One, Inc.
Operating under the motto, "Help First, Business Second," Bio-One provides high-level decontamination and biohazard cleanup services while offering clients the privacy and compassion needed at difficult times. Bio-One operates in 41 states with over 110 locations and is committed to providing first-class service.
"We are thrilled to add Bio-One as the Presenting Sponsor for the 2021 USPFC because First Responders warrant our support," said California Police Athletic Federation President LC Collins. "Bio-One’s reputation is second to none, and with their partnership, we can offer first responders a health and wellness outlet. We look forward to working with them for years to come."
Founded by San Diego Police Lieutenant Veon "Duke" Nyhus, The United States Police & Fire Championships were first held in San Diego in 1967. Duke recognized the need to promote physical fitness and camaraderie among the Public Safety and First Responder community members.
The USPFC caters to active and retired public safety and first responders who participate in Olympic-style competitions and open to individuals representing firefighters, law enforcement, and officers from corrections, probation, border protection, immigration, and customs across the country. Traditionally athletes compete in 45+ sporting events from biathlon to motocross across 35+ venues in Southern California.
"At Bio-One our support for Law Enforcement and Fire Service Officers is unwavering, and we're thrilled to partner with the California Police Athletic Federation during this memorable event," said Nick-Anthony Zamucen, founder of Bio-One. "We wish each athlete success and look forward to celebrating these everyday heroes."
The 2021 USPFC Presented by Bio-One will take place from June 10th to the 19th in venues across San Diego, California, and strengthen the relationship between First Responders and the community for many years to come!
About the United States Police and Fire Championships
The California Police Athletic Federation (CPAF) is the parent organization of two multi-sport programs designed for peace officers and firefighters. The World Police & Fire Games (WPFG) are open to active and retired law enforcement and fire service personnel throughout the world. The United States Police & Fire Championships (USPFC) are open to active or retired public safety and first responder personnel from an eligible agency within the USA. For more information, please visit www.uspfc.org.
What is Hoarding?
Hoarding is a difficult and complex mental health condition that can possess a real danger to a person’s well being and family relationships. Psychiatry.org reports an estimated 6% of the population have this mental health disorder. Unfortunately only 15% of Hoarders recognize that this behavior is irrational. Here at Bio-One we have helped countless families and those suffering from hoarding disorders navigate this challenging issue. Through all this experience we have curated a list of things to keep in mind when trying to help someone who has too much stuff.
#1 Don't take their possessions
If your loved one’s home is filled with unused clothes or old electronics that don’t work it may be tempting to “cure” them by throwing all their stuff away when they're not looking. This seems like a rational thing to do because it’s just “junk” but we strongly encourage you not do this. It will actually end up hurting your relationship with the loved one and make overcoming this issue much more difficult. People who have compulsive hoarding disorder (CHD) have a strong emotional connection with their stuff and will experience stress if their things are unknowingly being thrown away.
#2 Educate yourself
From an outside perspective, Hoarding just doesn’t make any sense. One of the most important things you can do to help a loved one is educating yourself on the complexity of CHD and putting yourself in the other person's shoes. We recommend checking out the Multnomah Hoarding Task Force and Dr. Tompkins Webinar for further information on the complex nature of this disorder.
#3 Match their language
One of the best ways to reach someone with CHD is to not refer to their possessions as “Junk” or “Trash.” If your loved one refers to their possessions as “my collection” or “my things” try to match that language. This will help build a more trusting environment for progress to be made.
#4 Use Encouraging language
Oftentimes when people are spoken to in a harsh or judgmental tone they shut down and can’t solve problems. The best way to help a loved one move from being on the defense to cooperating with you is to use encouraging language. Finding what motivates someone with CHD and using that to rationally explain the consequences of Hoarding can go a long way. Here is an example of how we use encouraging language to make progress with our clients. “I see that you have a pathway from your front door to your living room. That’s great that you’ve kept things out of the way so that you don’t slip or fall. I can see that you can walk through here pretty well by turning sideways. The thing is that somebody else that might need to come into your home, like a fire fighter or an emergency responder, would have a pretty difficult time getting through here. They have equipment they’re usually carrying and fire fighters have protective clothes that are bulky. It’s important to have a pathway that is wide enough so that they could get through to help you or anyone else who needed it.”
#5 Highlight strengths
One of the key ways our mental health technicians break through with our hoarding clients is by highlighting their interests, positive attributes...ect. If the client has collected art we will make note of that and mention how they have a great taste in art!. If they have a 10 year supply of dish soap we might say something like “looks like you‘re well prepared for any dishwashing need for the rest of your life! Maybe we could box some of these up and donate them to a shelter?”
#6 Seek professional help
Sometimes family intervention just isn’t enough to get the results you are looking for. It can be draining and emotionally taxing to spend weeks or months at a time helping a loved one declutter their home. At bio-one we complete hoarding clean outs as well as the sorting aspect of it in 1-3 days. If you would like to share with us about what's going on feel free to do so HERE. We also recommend all our clients to the Portland anxiety clinic to have a professional help the individual along the path to healing.