AMHC News

AMHC Response to COVID-19

Message from Ellen Bemis, CEO

“This pandemic has created a paradigm shift for how organizations deliver services.  Thanks to our dedicated team, now more than ever, AMHC is being recognized as a leader in providing quality behavioral health services during some of the most difficult days our country has ever seen. Some individuals may find this is the first time they are experiencing a need for professional mental health assistance. AMHC is here for you. For a confidential appointment by telephone or tele-video (Zoom) please contact our Access Center at 1-800-244-6431.”

Most AMHC services remain open.

As of April 1, 2020:

  • AMHC continues to accept new referrals for therapy, case management and more. Please contact our Access Center at 1-800-244-6431 for more information.
  • We ask families and individuals seeking crisis intervention to call the Maine Crisis Line at 1-888-568-1112 from where they are rather than going to the Emergency Departments. AMHC Mobile Crisis responders can meet individuals via telehealth and in-person as needed in the location of the individual’s or family’s choosing.

As of March 24, 2020:

  • RTF (Residential Treatment Facility) is open to individuals living in Aroostook County who have been carefully screened for symptoms.
  • Supportive Visitation Services are being scheduled via Telehealth.

As of March 20, 2020:

  • Mobile Crisis Services can be reached by calling the Maine Crisis Line at 1-888-568-1112.
  • Sexual Assault Services can be reached by calling the Maine Sexual Assault Support Hotline at 1-800-871-4471.
  • Referrals to AMHC Residential and Crisis Stabilization Units in Aroostook and Washington counties will require the referral source to screen for COVID-19 symptoms prior to the referral being accepted.
  • MAT Clinics remain open for either face-to-face or telehealth services but clients are screened for symptoms and carefully monitored to ensure social distancing. Please check with your provider prior to your appointment.
  • AMHC Outpatient Services: for one-on-one treatment sessions staff is relying on telehealth and telephone appointments as much as possible. In-person appointments are screened for symptoms before the appointment is confirmed.
  • Group meetings are limited to fewer than 10 people per CDC guidelines.  Some groups are being offered via telehealth resources.  Check with your site prior to attending.
  • All Mental Health/Substance Use Peer Recovery Centers are closed to visitors but remain open for telephone and tele-video appointments as well as through Facebook. If you need support from your local peer center please call them at the following numbers

Being in isolation can be hard on our body, mind, and soul. Lorraine Chamberlain, Program Director of Behavioral Health and Integration offers tips on how to stay positive during this time.

 

As of March 17, 2020:

AMHC is looked to as a community leader during these uncertain times. In addition, the health of our clients and staff is our highest priority. Our teams are meeting daily to ensure that we are following the latest recommendations from the CDC and taking all necessary precautions to protect our clients and staff while we continue to deliver services.

The following links will help all of us to stay informed and plan appropriately:

  • Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC): Current status of disease spread in Maine; links to information for health care providers; links to practical information for the public.
  • Maine 211: Maine CDC and 211 Maine have launched a new option for Mainers to get answers to questions about COVID-19 at any time. This service is available by dialing 211 (or 1-866-811-5695), texting your ZIP code to 898-211, or emailing info@211maine.org.
  • Governor Janet Mills: Up-to-date information about state emergency orders and declarations; links to relevant resources.

We are pleased to share an interview that Lorraine Chamberlain, Program Director of Behavioral Health and Integration, had with WAGM TV8 about the importance of remaining calm during this critical time. By working together and adhering to CDC recommendations, we will help reduce the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Aroostook Teen Leadership Camp Extends Partnership with UMFK

Aroostook Teen Leadership Camp is pleased to partner with UMFK through 2024. It will hold its 34th camp this summer July 26-30, 2020. Campers from 2019 work on a team-building activity and include (l to r) Nicolette Martin, Sarah London, Gavin Plant, Taylor Coulombe, Cooper Saucier, and Samantha Shank. They are being led by staff member Emma Christie (background).

Aroostook Teen Leadership Camp (ATLC) is pleased to announce that it has extended its contract with UMFK through 2024. ATLC will hold its 34th camp from July 26-30, 2020. Focused on leadership development and drug prevention to teens currently in grades 6 – 8 in Aroostook County, ATLC is a program of the Aroostook Mental Health Services, Inc. (AMHC).

“UMFK began hosting ATLC’s summer camp in 2018 and we have found it to be a great fit,” shared Amber Stedt, Prevention Coordinator. “The campus provides the right amount of space – access to small and large classrooms and easy access to “the Quad” for all of our team building and outdoor activities. Campers stay in the college’s dormitories and eat meals in the cafeteria. The staff is great and willing to accommodate the many needs associated with a very busy week.”

Scott Voisine, UMFK’s Dean of Community Education states, “Our campus has fully enjoyed welcoming ATLC to UMFK for the past two summers and our new five-year contract will ensure a continued relationship with the program.  Having so many young and energetic youth leaders from all over Aroostook County on our campus for such a stellar program is something everyone on campus looks forward to.  These kids are our future leaders and we appreciate the opportunity to be part of their development.”

The deadline for this year’s camp registration is Thursday, April 9. Information is available in all Aroostook County middle schools with students in grades 6 – 8, or by calling 207-498-6431 or emailing Amber Stedt, Prevention Coordinator (astedt@amhc.org).

Since 1987, ATLC has mentored thousands of pre-teens and teens grades 6-12 in the process of social-emotional learning through a residential five-day summer camp augmented by a series of activities and programming through the school year. Pre-teens who attend as campers have the opportunity to become teen staff members who lead programming efforts. Goals include the prevention of early use of alcohol and other illegal drugs, leadership training to develop teen drug prevention leaders, and developing positive role models. For more information, connect with ATLC at www.atlc-camp.org.

Center for Integrated Neuro Rehab Celebrates Brain Injury Awareness Month

Center for Integrated Neuro Rehab (CINR), a program of AMHC, is highlighting Brain Injury Awareness Month during the month of March. CINR staff members include (seated l to r): Treska Berube and Teila Pimental and (standing l to r): Keely LeBlanc, Pam Searles and Betty Hendricksen.

Center for Integrated Neuro Rehab (CINR), a program of Aroostook Mental Health Services, Inc. (AMHC) is pleased to highlight Brain Injury Awareness Month during the month of March.

“Traumatic brain injuries are more common than many people think,” explained Pamela Searles, OTR/L,CBIS, Neuro-Rehabilitation Services Manager. “In Maine alone, on average every week, there are nearly 200 TBI-related hospital emergency department visits. At CINR, we work with individuals to assist them with gaining more skills in the areas of physical function, language/cognition, social/emotional wellbeing, and more independence with life skills. We want people to know that there is hope and help in overcoming the challenges associated with traumatic brain injury.”

Therapy at CINR includes artwork. “Our clients create beautiful paintings and other artwork,” explained Searles. As part of Brain Injury Awareness Month, artwork will be on display at the Caribou Public Library from March 16-31, 2020. “Our staff is excited to share the art created by our clients and we hope the community will stop by to enjoy their work.”

CINR will also host an open house at their facility at 159 Bennett Drive, Suite 1 in Caribou on March 18, 2020 from 10:30 a.m. -12:00. Clients will be sharing their stories of triumph in overcoming their injuries.

Brain injuries are most commonly sustained through falls, as well as strokes, and motor vehicle accidents. Since 2007, CINR has supported hundreds of individuals and their loved ones. They address intellectual, emotional and social functioning deficits to increase a brain injury survivor’s maximum recovery. Services may include psychological services, group therapy, family support groups, physical, occupational and speech therapy as well as community reintegration.

Fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, CINR is currently accepting client referrals. Please contact them at 207-498-3820 for more information and/or eligibility requirements.

Nar-Anon now held at Aroostook Recovery Center of Hope

Aroostook Recovery Center of Hope (ARCH) will now hold Nar-Anon meetings on Mondays at 7:00 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.

“Nar-Anon is a 12-step support meeting for those affected by a loved one’s addiction,” explained Eugene McLaughlin III, Peer Support Specialist, and Volunteer Coordinator. “It is estimated that for each addicted person, 10 others are affected including spouses, children, parents, siblings, and co-workers. This is a safe space for people to give and receive support from those who understand.”

ARCH is a service of Aroostook Mental Health Services, Inc. (AMHC) in collaboration with Link for Hope. For more information on the activities or resources offered at ARCH, please contact Eugene McLaughlin at 254-2213.

Roads to Recovery to Host Recovery Coaching Training in April

Roads to Recovery, a service of Aroostook Mental Health Services (AMHC), will be hosting a Recovery Coaching Training from April 21-24, 2020. 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.

“This training is one of the best I have ever attended,” said Erik Lamoreau, Substance Use Disorder Peer Recovery Center Manager. “I am so pleased we can bring this to Aroostook County and I encourage any person in recovery, an ally of recovery and/or a professional who works with individuals experiencing substance use disorder to participate. You won’t forget it!”

Known as CCAR Recovery Coach Academy, the four-day training is in collaboration with Portland Recovery Community Center. It will be held from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day and lunch will be provided. The cost for all four days is $20.00. The training offers professionals 30 CEUs (with the opportunity to attend a follow-up ethics training this summer and earn an additional 16 CEUs).

A limited number of seats are available. Please register by March 31, 2020, at https://weblink.donorperfect.com/rcacaribouapril2020. For more information about the training or Roads to Recovery services, please contact Erik Lamoreau by email at elamoreau@amhc.org or by phone at 207-493-1278.

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.

AMHC Response to COVID-19

Message from Ellen Bemis, CEO “This pandemic has created a paradigm shift for how organizations deliver services.  Thanks …

Aroostook Teen Leadership Camp Extends Partnership with UMFK

Aroostook Teen Leadership Camp (ATLC) is pleased to announce that it has extended its contract with UMFK through 2024. ATLC …

Center for Integrated Neuro Rehab Celebrates Brain Injury Awareness Month

Center for Integrated Neuro Rehab (CINR), a program of Aroostook Mental Health Services, Inc. (AMHC) is pleased to highlight …