Month: <span>October 2019</span>

As Seen on WAGM This Morning: Stop the Stigma Related To Mental Health Part One

On this segment of WAGM This Morning we talk with local mental healthcare practitioners about the stigma related to mental health, how to overcome it and access local resources for help.

People can contact the Aroostook Mental health Center at: and to make an appointment call AMHC’s Access Center at 1-800-244-6431 Maine Crisis Line 1-888-568-1112

AMHC Announces Updates to Senior Leadership Team

AMHC announces the following updates to its senior leadership team: Michelle Ferris, LCSW, Director of Emergency Services; Lorraine Chamberlain, LCSW, CCS, Director of Integration and Behavioral Health in Aroostook County; and Debra L. Jacques, Director of Marketing and Development.

Ellen Bemis, CEO, Aroostook Mental Health Center (AMHC) has announced the following senior leadership updates: Michelle Ferris, LCSW to Director of Emergency Services; Lorraine Chamberlain, LCSW, CCS to Director of Integration and Behavioral Health in Aroostook County; and Debra L. Jacques as Director of Marketing and Development.

“I am pleased to share these updates regarding our senior leadership team,” said Bemis. “Each of these women possesses a great deal of knowledge and expertise in their respective fields. They will be a great asset to AMHC in their new roles as we work as a team to support our clients and their families, expand our services and increase our presence in the communities we serve.”

As the Director of Emergency Services, Michelle Ferris is responsible for AMHC’s Mobile Crisis Services and Sexual Assault Services in Aroostook, Hancock, and Washington Counties, and Crisis Stabilization Units for both adults and children in Aroostook County. Michelle has been with AMHC for 14 years. She has held several positions since 2006, most recently serving as Emergency Services Supervisor in Aroostook County.

Lorraine Chamberlain has assumed the position of Director of Integration and Behavioral Health in Aroostook County. She is responsible for substance use and intensive outpatient program services including the Residential Treatment Facility in Limestone, Medicated Assisted Treatment and Behavioral Health services in the five outpatient offices in Aroostook. In addition, she oversees Children Behavioral Health Services that include the Behavioral Health Home services, Therapeutic Foster Care and Supportive Visitation.  Lorraine has served in many capacities since joining AMHC in 1982, most recently as the Director of Emergency Services, a position she held for 19 years.

Debra “Deb” Jacques is responsible for the agency’s marketing, planning and development activities. She has more than 25 years of experience in marketing and development and was most recently the Community Relations Manager for Katahdin Trust. The majority of Deb’s career has been in non-profit work, serving as the Business Development Director for Eastern Maine HomeCare (now Northern Light Home Care & Hospice) and as Resource Developer for Aroostook County Action Program.

AMHC Selected to Serve on National Advancing Health Equity Learning Collaborative

Aroostook Mental Health Center (AMHC) has been selected to serve on a national Advancing Health Equity Learning Collaborative, a component of the Advancing Health Equity: Leading Care, Payment, and Systems Transformation program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Lorraine Chamberlain, Program Director of Integration and Behavioral Health in Aroostook County will represent AMHC.

“It is an honor for AMHC to be chosen to participate in this collaborative,” said Ellen Bemis, AMHC CEO. “Our organization works daily with individuals who experience health disparities including poverty, discrimination, and lack of access to education, housing and healthcare resources. With 37 years of experience in mental health, substance use and crisis services, Lorraine will be a tremendous voice and advocate in leading this transformational work to advance health equity at the national level.”

Representatives from state Medicaid agencies, Medicaid health plans, and health care organizations from Maine, Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Washington were competitively selected to work together to reduce health disparities. For the next two years, the group will convene to design integrated health care delivery and payment models to reduce health disparities and then implement these efforts at health care delivery organizations and surrounding communities.

“This is the first attempt that we know of to bring together these three stakeholder groups to identify common goals for advancing health equity and then work together to implement them. We are excited about the potential of this project,” noted Andrea Ducas, Senior Program Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Celebrating 55 years, AMHC is a nonprofit organization supporting approximately 6,000 clients annually. The agency has 20 service sites and 325 employees located across Aroostook, Washington, and Hancock counties providing mental health, substance use, crisis and sexual assault services. For more information, connect with AMHC at

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