Month: January 2020

Michelle Ferris Named Facilitator for the Maine Crisis Network

Michelle Ferris, LCSW, AMHC Program Director of Emergency Services has been named the Maine Crisis Network Facilitator for 2020.

Aroostook Mental Health Center (AMHC) is pleased to announce that Michelle Ferris, LCSW, Program Director of Emergency Services for Aroostook, Washington and Hancock counties, has been named the facilitator for the Maine Crisis Network for 2020. The network is a statewide crisis intervention program available 24/7 for anyone experiencing mental health concerns.

“To be named facilitator for the Maine Crisis Network demonstrates the respect Michelle has garnered among her peers across the State,” said Ellen Bemis, AMHC CEO. “She is a strong advocate not only for those in crisis but for those who are charged with providing the emergency services needed. Michelle is most deserving of this recognition.”

Membership includes representatives from area mobile crisis intervention programs and the statewide telephone crisis response system. As the facilitator, Michelle will be responsible for leading meetings and attending to issues that affect crisis leaders across the State. Goals for the coming year include ensuring crisis providers are using current best practices, being a voice to advocate at the State level as it relates to the crisis system, and identifying opportunities for improvement in the delivery of crisis services.

AMHC Recognized for Suicide Prevention Efforts

AMHC was recently congratulated by both the Maine and Federal Centers for Disease Control for the agency’s work on an initiative referred to as Zero Suicide. A few of the staff members involved include (l to r): Sarah Wright, MHRT-CSP, Mobile Crisis Services Manager, Aroostook; Judith Feibus, LCSW, Quality Assurance Manager; and Michelle Ferris, LCSW, Director of Emergency Services.

Aroostook Mental Health Center (AMHC) recently received positive remarks by the Centers for Disease Control for its leadership in Suicide Prevention. AMHC is one of several organizations in five states that received a three-year grant to focus on suicide prevention efforts. Because one suicide is one too many, the initiative is called “Zero Suicide.”

AMHC has implemented a series of questions that its direct care staff are now required to ask clients. The questions have assisted in several ways:

  • Staff are more intentional about the issue of suicide among those individuals whom AMHC serves;
  • The questions asked help reduce the stigma associated with suicide;
  • Staff are more comfortable assessing for risk;
  • AMHC is able to collect data specific to suicide and learn from that data to help our clientele.

“We are so pleased to have the Maine CDC and Federal CDC recognize our work in suicide prevention,” said Michelle Ferris, Director of Emergency Services. “The CDC has indicated that the steps we have taken can have a significant impact on reducing suicide rates. I am proud of our staff in Aroostook, Washington and Hancock Counties and welcome the opportunity to share what we have done to help move this initiative forward.” For more information on “Zero Suicide,” please visit www.zerosuicide.com.

AMHC Opens Medication Assisted Treatment Clinic in Presque Isle

AMHC recently opened a Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Clinic in Presque Isle. AMHC team members who will work with individuals receiving treatment include Substance Use Disorder Counselors Tammy Barnhart, MHRT-1, LSW, CADC, and Greg Moody, MHRT-1, CADC; and Aileen Peterson, Administrative Support Assistant.

AMHC has announced the opening of a Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Clinic in Presque Isle. The clinics support individuals who are in detox and recovery from opiate drug use.

“MAT Clinics have become an important part of recovery for many individuals and creating access to those clinics is key to helping them,” explains Lorraine Chamberlain, Director of Integration and Behavioral Health in Aroostook County. “In addition, AMHC works with each person to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that includes group and individual substance use counseling as well as community contacts and resources. The combination seems to offer the best long-term success.”

AMHC is partnering with Pines Health Services to administer treatment. Potential clients will have access to the clinic based on their motivation and willingness to participate in all aspects of the program. AMHC places a significant focus on working with a person to develop positive natural support to promote behavioral change. Educational and clinical supports are also available to clients and their families to assist them in the recovery process. “Our staff is very conscientious of providing clients the treatment they need from the MAT Clinic,” shares Chamberlain. “At the same time, they are keeping in mind that our goal is to make this a temporary part of their treatment plan.”

Individuals seeking MAT Clinic treatment can speak with their individual counselors or call the Access Center at 1-800-244-6431 to get scheduled for a screening to determine if they are appropriate for the service. Once clients have been screened by a Substance Abuse Counselor and deemed appropriate for the program, they will be scheduled for induction into the clinic.

Aroostook Recovery Center of Hope to Host Community Screening of “The Anonymous People”

Aroostook Recovery Center of Hope (ARCH), a service of Aroostook Mental Health Center (AMHC) in collaboration with Link for Hope, will host a screening of “The Anonymous People” on Wednesday, January 22 at 6:00 p.m.

Opened in 2019, ARCH is located at 36 North Street in Houlton. It is a place where individuals can come and receive support for their recovery journey, connecting people to resources and also serve as a venue for various recovery meetings.

“The mark of a new year often represents a time to start fresh and make positive changes,” explains Eugene McLaughlin III, Peer Support Specialist and Volunteer Coordinator. “ARCH is hosting the screening of ‘The Anonymous People’ in order to offer hope for people struggling with or affected by substance use disorder. Our goal is to provide a safe place for those who are seeking, or are in recovery, the information they need to move forward.”

After viewing “The Anonymous People” there will be time for discussion and questions. For more information, please contact Eugene at 254-2213.

Roads to Recovery Adding New Activities in 2020

Roads to Recovery, a service of Aroostook Mental Health Center (AMHC) is announcing several new activities starting in January. Roads to Recovery is located at One Water Street in Caribou and is a place where individuals can come and receive support for their recovery journey, connect people to resources, and also serve as a venue for a variety of recovery meetings.

“Our peer center is growing in numbers and we’re pleased to expand our program offerings,” shared Erik Lamoreau, Substance Use Disorder Peer Recovery Center Manager. “When our community makes suggestions, we try hard to accommodate the need.”

Roads to Recovery will now host a weekly Nar-Anon meeting on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. Yoga and meditation have also been added to the schedule and will be held on Saturdays at 4:30 p.m. “We will also be conducting Naloxone training on Tuesday, January 21 at 6:00 p.m.,” said Erik. “Previous trainings have been well attended and we want to make sure everyone who wants to learn how to administer Naloxone has the opportunity to do so.”

For more information on the activities or resources offered at Roads to Recovery please contact Erik at 493-1278.

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