Month: <span>May 2020</span>

AMHC and Healthy You Highlight Mental Health Awareness Month

Healthy You is hosting an AMHC Community Chat video series during Mental Health Awareness Month in May. A wide variety of mental health topics will be covered and available on the Healthy You YouTube channel at carymedicalcenter.org/healthyyou and through Healthy You and AMHC social media. Bethany Zell, CWHC, Healthy You Program Director, interviews Erik Lamoreau, AMHC Substance Use Peer Recovery Center Manager about the resources available to those in recovery.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and Aroostook Mental Health Services, Inc. (AMHC) is pleased to participate in a series of community conversations with Healthy You, a program of Cary Medical Center in Caribou, Maine. A wide variety of mental health topics will be addressed including segments focused on children, teens, seniors, pet therapy, suicide prevention, and individuals in recovery from substance use.

“During COVID-19, many of us are challenged by fear and isolation,” explains Ellen Bemis, AMHC CEO. “It is more important than ever to develop coping skills that can help us prioritize our mental health and build resiliency, as well as support others who may be struggling. We are grateful to have this opportunity to partner with Healthy You to raise awareness regarding the many tools and resources that are available to help people during this time.”

“When I planned our monthly Healthy You themes for 2020 back in December of last year, I had no idea how timely Mental Health Awareness Month information – and the choice to help amplify that message – would be once May rolled around,” shared Healthy You Program Director, Bethany Zell, CWHC. “I am thankful for the wealth of resources and information available from our community partners at AMHC and for their eagerness to participate in these discussions. In this time of physical distancing, it is imperative that people remain connected with tools and resources needed to address the mental health impacts we are experiencing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am honored that Healthy You could facilitate getting this information out to our communities through the AMHC Community Chat video series.”

The AMHC Community Chats with Healthy You will continue to roll out through the remainder of Mental Health Awareness Month in May and released videos can be viewed on the Healthy You YouTube channel located at carymedicalcenter.org/healthyyou.

Healthy You, a community health and wellness program of Cary Medical Center, delivers programs and information on a monthly health and wellness theme. Through videos, social media, and interactive, community-based programs, we provide our communities with the tools and resources needed to make positive advancements in all aspects of their lives including their social, physical, emotional, occupational, intellectual, spiritual, and environmental health and wellness. For current event listings or to connect with Healthy You, please visit facebook.com/caryhealthyyou.

AMHC Peer Recovery Centers Hosting Public Events throughout Aroostook

Roads to Recovery (R2R) and Aroostook Recovery Center of Hope (ARCH), substance use peer recovery service providers, are hosting several public events in May. Part of Aroostook Mental Health Services, Inc. (AMHC), the recovery centers provide individuals a place to come and receive support for their recovery journey, connect people to resources, and also serve as a venue for a variety of recovery meetings.

“COVID-19 has been very difficult for our recovery community,” shared Erik Lamoreau, Substance Use Disorder Peer Recovery Center Manager. “We are grateful for the technology that allows us to stay connected but we are excited to do some public events that will allow us to touch base in person, with proper social distancing, of course.”

The public is invited to stop by and learn more about peer recovery centers and all the services AMHC offers the recovery community. Free Naloxone kits will also be distributed. “We will offer Naloxone training during the event or if individuals prefer, they can learn about properly administering naloxone from the information provided in their kit,” said Lamoreau.  For more information, please contact R2R at 207-493-1278 or ARCH at 207-254-2213.

The events will be held at the following locations and times during the month of May:

  • Mondays, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., AMHC Fort Kent Outpatient Office, 104 East Main Street
  • Mondays, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., AMHC Madawaska Outpatient Office, 88 Fox Street
  • Tuesdays, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Old Irving parking lot, 83 Main Street, Van Buren
  • Tuesdays, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., Riverside Park Pavilion, 49 Limestone Road, Fort Fairfield
  • Wednesdays and Fridays, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Center for Integrated Neuro-Rehab, 159 Bennett Drive, Caribou
  • Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., AMHC ACSU, 162 Main Street, Presque Isle
  • Thursdays, 11 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., AMHC Presque Isle Outpatient Office, 1 Edgemont Drive
  • Wednesdays and Fridays, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., Aroostook Recovery Center of Hope, 36 North Street, Houlton
  • Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Aroostook County Jail parking lot, 15 Broadway, Houlton

R2R and ARCH are pleased to partner with Maine Access Points, a mutual aid organization providing syringe access services, overdose prevention education, and naloxone distribution, peer support, and advocacy throughout rural Maine. For more information please visit https://www.maineaccesspoints.org/.

Downeast Treatment Center Offers Virtual Services to Support Opioid Recovery

As a result of new virtual services, same-day access to anyone with opioid use disorder (OUD) who wishes to begin medication assisted treatment (MAT) is now available to anyone across Washington and Hancock counties. In response to the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, the Downeast Treatment Center (DTC) in Ellsworth has begun offering immediate, virtual, rapid access to MAT for all in the Downeast region.

“People in active use are finding it harder to access opioids during this time and some are experiencing opioid withdrawal,” says Clem Deveau, Program Director at Aroostook Mental Health Center. “As a result, individuals struggling with addiction may be more readily drawn to seek recovery support services. We want to be readily available to provide needed support.  When they’re ready, treatment and support must be ready; therefore, we have expanded our virtual capacity to welcome all new individuals to the DTC from anywhere in the two-county region.”

Patients can expect a virtual intake over phone or Zoom, prescriptions called to pharmacies near them; ongoing, remote access to a medical provider, and access to virtual group or individual sessions with a behavioral health provider. Anyone who does not have insurance or who cannot afford their insurance deductibles or copays can apply for financial support from Healthy Acadia’s Treatment Fund.

“I am thrilled to learn about this development. The expansion of MAT services by the DTC to patients with a substance use disorder is a significant enhancement of the services in Downeast Maine,” noted Gordon Smith, the state’s Director of Opioid Response. “The establishment of low barrier access to MAT is a high priority in the Governor’s Opioid Response Strategic Plan and to be able to advance this program virtually allows patients in these two rural counties an opportunity for treatment without leaving their home. Congratulations to all involved in bringing it to fruition.”

The DTC opened in early 2018 and arose out of the work of the Downeast Treatment Substance Network (DSTN), a partnership of organizations and community members in Downeast, Maine, that has been meeting monthly since the fall of 2014. The DSTN and a parallel group focusing specifically in Washington County, the WC Substance Use Response Collaborative (WC SURC) have been convened by Healthy Acadia, a local nonprofit community health organization that is also responsible for managing multiple federal grants and multidisciplinary teams that support the DTC, recovery coaching services, and many other harm reduction and recovery-related initiatives.

“We are thrilled by this development and honored to be a part of it,” said Penny Guisinger, Recovery Programs Director at Healthy Acadia. “Many medical providers across this region are offering MAT, and the number is growing. Adding virtually-available treatment will make a huge difference for people who are ready to begin MAT but who don’t have access to a site that offers rapid access.”

The DTC provides a full-service MAT program that utilizes buprenorphine, medical management, and behavioral therapy. MAT is a best practice, state-of-the-art response to Opioid Use Disorder. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “…these medications relieve the withdrawal symptoms and psychological cravings that cause chemical imbalances in the body. MAT programs provide a safe and controlled level of medication to overcome the use of an abused opioid. And research has shown that when provided at the proper dose, medications used in MAT have no adverse effects on a person’s intelligence, mental capability, physical functioning, or employability.

To learn more, or to begin the process of participating in MAT, call the DTC at (207) 667-6890. To learn more about Healthy Acadia’s recovery programming, including recovery coaching, visit www.healthyacadia.org.

Healthy Acadia is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that engages in a broad range of initiatives to build healthier communities and make it easier for people to lead healthy lives across Washington and Hancock counties, Maine. Learn more at www.healthyacadia.org.

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