AMHC News

AMHC Receives 2020 Caring About Lives in Maine Award

The AMHC Zero Suicide Leadership Team was presented the 2020 Caring About Lives in Maine (CAL ME) Award by the Maine Suicide Prevention Program (MSPP). Accepting the award was Michelle Ferris, LCSW, AMHC Program Director of Emergency Services.

Aroostook Mental Health Services, Inc. (AMHC) is pleased to announce that the AMHC Zero Suicide Leadership Team was selected for the 2020 Caring About Lives in Maine (CAL ME) Award. Presented by the Maine Suicide Prevention Program (MSPP) and its Advisory Council, the award recognizes individuals and organizations promoting suicide prevention through education, stigma reduction, active intervention, and/or ongoing support of suicide survivors.

“At AMHC we believe that one suicide is one too many and we take the public health issue of suicide very seriously,” shared Michelle Ferris, AMHC Program Director of Emergency Services. “Thanks to the Zero Suicide initiative we have been able to advance our practices of screening, assessment, intervention, follow up, and community education and collaboration.”

Highlights include training all clinical staff in current best practices, enhancing AMHC’s electronic service record to capture more data related to suicidality, and reducing the stigma related to suicidality and help-seeking behavior. Thanks to organizations like the United Way of Aroostook, AMHC has also increased its capacity to offer more community-based trainings on this topic.

Sheila Nelson, MPH, MSW, and Program Manager for the State of Maine Department of Health and Human Services’ Maine Center for Disease Control, nominated AMHC for the award. The MSPP, led by the Maine CDC Adolescent Health and Injury Prevention Program, is committed to excellence in suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. “We recognize that vibrant community partnerships are essential to preventing suicide, promoting resiliency, and supporting recovery and well-being,” said Nelson. “We thank AMHC for your hard work and are looking forward to recognizing your efforts on behalf of Mainers in your community.”

The award was presented on October 1, 2020, at the annual Beyond the Basics in Suicide Prevention conference, which was held virtually this year. For more information on “Zero Suicide,” please visit www.zerosuicide.com.

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