Category: Events

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Millions of Americans are affected by mental health conditions every year. Here are some facts about the prevalence and impact of mental illness.

  • Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.
  • Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—9.8 million, or 4.0%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.
  • Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%.
  • 1.1% of adults in the U.S. live with schizophrenia.
  • 2.6% of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder.
  • 6.9% of adults in the U.S.—16 million—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.
  • 18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.
  • Among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 50.5%—10.2 million adults—had a co-occurring mental illness.

Social Stats

  • An estimated 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness and an estimated 46% live with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders.
  • Approximately 20% of state prisoners and 21% of local jail prisoners have “a recent history” of a mental health condition.
  • 70% of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental health condition and at least 20% live with a serious mental illness.
  • Only 41% of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year. Among adults with a serious mental illness, 62.9% received mental health services in the past year.
  • Just over half (50.6%) of children with a mental health condition aged 8-15 received mental health services in the previous year.
  • African Americans and Hispanic Americans each use mental health services at about one-half the rate of Caucasian Americans and Asian Americans at about one-third the rate.
  • Half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14; three-quarters by age 24. Despite effective treatment, there are long delays—sometimes decades—between the first appearance of symptoms and when people get help.

Consequences Of Lack Of Treatment

  • Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year.
  • Mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder, and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults aged 18–44.
  • Individuals living with serious mental illness face an increased risk of having chronic medical conditions. Adults in the U.S. living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than others, largely due to treatable medical conditions.
  • Over one-third (37%) of students with a mental health condition age 14­–21 and older who are served by special education drop out—the highest dropout rate of any disability group.
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 10–34.
  • More than 90% of people who die by suicide show symptoms of a mental health condition.
  • Each day an estimated 18-22 veterans die by suicide.

What Is Stigma?
People experiencing mental health conditions often face rejection, bullying and even discrimination. This can make their journey to recovery longer and more difficult. Stigma is when someone, or you yourself, views you in a negative way because you have a mental health condition. Some people describe stigma as shame that can be felt as a judgment from someone else or a feeling that is internal, something that confuses feeling bad with being bad.

Navigating life with a mental health condition can be tough, and the isolation, blame, and secrecy that is often encouraged by stigma can create huge challenges to reaching out, getting needed support and living well. Learning how to cope with stigma and how to avoid and address stigma are important for all of us.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month

Founded and sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (now Facing Addiction with NCADD), Alcohol Awareness Month was established in 1987 to help reduce the stigma so often associated with alcohol addiction by encouraging communities to reach out to the American public each April with information about alcohol, alcohol addiction, and recovery. Alcohol addiction is a chronic, progressive disease, genetically predisposed and fatal if untreated. However, people can and do recover. In fact, it is estimated that as many as 20 million individuals and family members are living lives in recovery from alcohol use!

According to the NCADD, “Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States. 17.6 million people, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence along with several million more who engage in risky, binge drinking patterns that could lead to alcohol problems. More than half of all adults have a family history of alcoholism or problem drinking, and more than 7 million children live in a household where at least one parent is dependent on or has abused alcohol.” Warning signs of alcohol abuse include:

  • Drinking to calm nerves, forget worries or boost a sad mood
  • Guilt about drinking
  • Unsuccessful attempts to cut down or stop drinking
  • Lying about or hiding drinking habits
  • Causing harm to oneself or someone else as a result of drinking
  • Needing to drink increasingly greater amounts in order to achieve desired effects
  • Feeling irritable, resentful or unreasonable when not drinking
  • Medical, social, family or financial problems caused by drinking

 

How is AMHC addressing the issue?

  • Individual Outpatient Therapy (IOP)
  • Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient Treatment programs, which require regular attendance for a set period of time.
  • Maine Mothers Network https://www1.maine.gov/dhhs/samhs/osa/help/mainemothersnetworkflyer.pdf
  • Driver Education and Evaluation Program (DEEP) services for individuals seeking to regain their license following an operating under the influence charge.
  • Peer support
  • MAT services including Opioid Health Home
  • DMS (Detox management services)
    • Money available for medication
    • Treatment IOP, individual, residential
  • Residential Treatment Facility “The Farm”
  • Criminogenic treatment services
    • Working with local probation services
    • Diversion Academy
    • Mark Nelson working in Jail (Breaking Free program)
  • The Roads to Recovery Community Center services in Caribou and coming soon to Houlton
    • Various recovery meetings
      • AA
      • NA
      • Al-anon
      • Refuge recovery
      • men/women group
      • father/mother group
      • Recovery writing, art groups, music
      • Families Anonymous
    • Substance use and domestic violence
    • Maine can work
    • Narcan training
    • IOP has been attending every two to three weeks
      • High-power box
      • Jeopardy
      • music
      • Benefits are that our customers have increased confidence to participate in various recovery meetings

 

April is Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Join AMHC for the 20th Annual Denim Day on April 24th in support of Sexual Assult Awareness Month!

STAND UP, SPEAK OUT: WEAR DENIM TO BREAK THE SILENCE

Wear Denim for your mother, sister, brother, grandmother, uncle, neighbor, cousin, cashier, teacher, father, friend… Wear it for all those who have been affected by Sexual Violence. Show your support. As a Community, we can end violence.

HISTORY:

In 1992 an 18-year-old Italian woman was picked up by her driving instructor to begin her driving lesson. Soon after her instructor sexually assaulted her on the side of the road. She reported the incident and he was convicted. The instructor appealed the case to the Italian High Court. In 1999 the court overturned the conviction, with a member of the High Court declaring that since the victim was wearing very tight jeans, the instructor could not have removed them himself, therefore the victim must have been a willing participant. Women of the Italian legislature protested the decision by wearing jeans. As news spread so did the protest. In April 1999 the first Denim Day was established in the United States.

 

For more information please contact  AMHC Sexual Assault Services at 1-800-871-7741

 

Social Work Month 2019

Aren’t you glad there are social workers in the world? What would the world be like without them?

Social Work Month is in March and this year’s theme is ELEVATE SOCIAL WORK.

Each day, nearly 700,000 social workers nationwide work to elevate and empower others, giving them the ability to solve life’s problems, cope with personal roadblocks and get the services they need. Social workers are needed now more than ever as the nation grapples with serious issues such as income equality, preventing suicide, ensuring access to good health care for all, as well as addressing the growing opioid addiction now gripping the nation.

You may not realize it, but social workers are everywhere—and they work across AMHC in most all of our service locations. For generations, social workers have worked tirelessly to improve our wider society and make our nation a better place to live. For example, they work in mental health facilities and clinics and hospitals helping place people on the path to recovery from sickness and mental illness. They support our brave military personnel, veterans and their families. They are in schools, helping students overcome issues that prevent them from getting a good education, and they protect children who have been abused or neglected. They also help children find new families through adoption.

International Women’s Day

March 8th is recognized as International Women’s Day.  In the late 1800’s/early 1900’s, the fight for equality was very real – equal pay and women’s right to vote.  AMHC is lucky to employ extremely talented and exceptional women who work diligently each day to provide excellent service to each other and our community.

Today, Central Office staff celebrated women empowerment, and success within our agency and our lives.  We wear purple to support International Women’s Day, including the women we are all fortunate to have in our lives each and every day.

National Sleep Awareness Week (March 10-16)

Join AMHC and the National Sleep Foundation in celebrating its annual Sleep Awareness Week, March 10 to 16, 2019. This year’s theme “Begin with Sleep” highlights the importance of good sleep health for individuals to best achieve their personal, family, and professional goals. To calculate how much sleep you need to be the best you can be and articles about good sleep health, sleep problems, and how each affects your lifestyle, visit https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/bedtime-calculatortm.

National Nutrition Month® 2019

National Nutrition Month® is an annual nutrition education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign, celebrated each year during the month of March, focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

During National Nutrition Month®, help the Academy achieve its vision of a world where all people thrive through the transformative power of food and nutrition.

Key Messages:

  1. Discover the benefits of a healthy eating style.
  2. Choose foods and drinks that are good for your health.
  3. Include a variety of healthful foods from all of the food groups on a regular basis.
  4. Select healthier options when eating away from home.
  5. Be mindful of portion sizes. Eat and drink the amount that’s right for you, as MyPlate encourages us to do.
  6. Keep it simple. Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated.
  7. Make food safety part of your everyday routine.
  8. Help to reduce food waste by considering the foods you have on hand before buying more at the store.
  9. Find activities that you enjoy and be physically active most days of the week.
  10. Consult the nutrition experts. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists can provide sound, easy-to-follow personalized nutrition advice to meet your lifestyle, preferences and health-related needs.

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

The goal of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (#NEDAwareness) is to shine the spotlight on eating disorders by educating the public, spreading a message of hope, and putting life-saving resources into the hands of those in need. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness and will affect 30 million Americans at some point in their lives, but myths and misinformation still keep people from getting the help they need. Eating disorders are serious conditions that can have a profound mental and physical impact, including death. This should not discourage anyone struggling—recovery is real, and treatment is available. Statistics on mortality and eating disorders underscore the impact of these disorders and the importance of treatment.

The NEDA Helpline is available Monday-Thursday from 9AM to 9PM ET, and Friday from 9AM to 5PM ET. Contact the Helpline for support, resources and treatment options for yourself or a loved one.

You may reach the NEDA helpline by calling (800) 931-2237.

Helpline volunteers are trained to help you find the information and support you are looking for. Reach out today!

World Cancer Day – February 4, 2019

Monday, February 4th is World Cancer Day, when organizations and people around the world unite to raise awareness about cancer and work to make it a global health priority. An estimated 9.5 million people worldwide were expected to die from cancer in 2018 – about 26,000 cancer deaths a day – and that number is predicted to grow.

How people can help themselves:

  • Make healthy lifestyle choices that include avoiding using tobacco products, getting plenty of physical activity, eating a healthy diet, limiting alcohol, and staying safe in the sun.
  • Know about the signs and symptoms of cancer and early detection guidelines because finding cancer early often makes it easier to treat.
  • Share stories about their own cancer experiences, communicate with decision-makers and join support groups to help make positive change for all people affected by cancer.
  • When possible, use work and other daily activities during and after cancer treatment as opportunities to maintain normality, routine, stability, social contact, and income.

How people can help others:

  • Support cancer patients and survivors with the physical and emotional impacts of cancer even after treatment ends.
  • Call on government leaders to commit adequate resources to reduce cancer deaths and provide a better quality of life for patients and survivors.
  • Educate themselves and others about the link between certain lifestyle behaviors – including smoking, poor diet, and lack of physical activity – and cancer risk.
  • Dispel rumors and myths that lead to stigma and discrimination against people with cancer in some communities.

Encourage schools and workplaces to implement nutrition, physical activity, and no smoking policies that help people adopt healthy habits for life.

AMHC Raises Awareness on Suicide

September is designated as Suicide Prevention Month and Aroostook Mental Health Center has been partnering with other community …

AMHC and Link for Hope host Grand Opening for Aroostook Recovery Center of Hope

An open house for the Aroostook Recovery Center of Hope (ARCH), located at 36 North Street, will be held on Saturday, September …

Downeast Treatment Center expanding services

  For a little more than a year, the Downeast Treatment Center in Ellsworth has been working with area hospitals and …