Category: News

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.

2019 AMHC Annual Report

AMHC is pleased to release its 2019 Annual Report to the community. “AMHC staff accomplished a great deal in 2019,” shares Ellen Bemis, CEO. “Thanks to their efforts nearly 6,000 individuals in Aroostook, Washington and Hancock Counties received support in mental health, substance use, crisis, and sexual assault services. I also wish to thank our many partners and donors who make this work possible. We look forward to 2020 and all that we can achieve together.”

Aroostook Children’s Advocacy Center Marks One Year of Service

The Aroostook CAC includes Katherine Bartlett, Family Services Advocate; Lydia Christie, Program Coordinator; and Lori Deschaine, LCSW, Forensic Interviewer

The Aroostook Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC), a program of Aroostook Mental Health Center (AMHC), recently marked its one year anniversary of providing services to children and families. The CAC is committed to minimizing trauma and promoting healing for children and their families following the allegation of sexual abuse. The program provides a streamlined, timely and evidence-based community response in a safe and neutral environment.

Located in Fort Fairfield, in its first year, the CAC assisted more than 80 children and their families, highlighting the need for services in Aroostook County. “Prior to its opening, the closest Children’s Advocacy Center was in Bangor,” said Lori Deschaine, LCSW, Forensic Interviewer. “Having this program locally reduces the barriers in navigating a sometimes complex system while connecting the child and family with resources and supports.”

“This program would not be possible without the strong support it received from many local organizations and businesses who understood the need for this service,” explained Lydia Christie, Program Coordinator for Sexual Assault Services and Aroostook CAC.  “As we start our second year of operation, we wish to thank our community partners for making this possible.”

Donations will continue to be an important part of Aroostook CAC’s funding. “We are grateful for the continued support that helps ensure the sustainability of the program,” said Christie. Monetary contributions may be sent to Lydia Christie, AMHC, P.O. Box 1018, Caribou, Maine 04736. The CAC also has a list of program supplies available on the Amazon Aroostook CAC wish list accessible through the following link: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/29S0Y11KEEX6X.

Referrals for Aroostook CAC come through law enforcement, child protective services, or the district attorney’s office. To receive more information, contact the CAC directly at 207-472-6134.

AMHC Welcomes Behavioral Health Therapist to Houlton Office

AMHC announces Tiffany Cumming, MA, LCPC, IMH-E® has joined its outpatient services in the Houlton area.

Aroostook Mental Health Center (AMHC) has announced that Tiffany Cumming, MA, LCPC, IMH-E® has joined its Houlton Outpatient Office.

“I am very pleased that Tiffany has joined AMHC,” shared Lorraine Chamberlain, Director of Integration and Behavioral Health in Aroostook County. “Tiffany’s focus is on promoting resiliency for youth through social-emotional development and learning. She is passionate about partnering with those who influence the development of children be they parents, guardians, teachers or childcare providers. We are grateful to have Tiffany return to Aroostook County to serve the needs of children and families living in the greater Houlton area.”

A native of Houlton and a graduate of Houlton High School, Tiffany most recently provided early childhood services in the state of Colorado. Prior to that, she offered clinical services for youth and families in the Boston area. She has a Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies: Mental Health Counseling & Art Therapy from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. She carries the state of Maine independent counseling license, LCPC, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.

For more information about AMHC services please contact AMHC’s Access Center at 1-800-244-6431.

Therapist Joins AMHC’s Houlton Office

AMHC announces Suzanne Costallos, LCSW has joined its Houlton Outpatient Office.

Aroostook Mental Health Center (AMHC) is pleased to announce the addition of Suzanne Costallos, LCSW to its Houlton Outpatient Office.

“I am very pleased to have Suzanne as part of our talented team,” shared Lorraine Chamberlain, Director of Integration and Behavioral Health in Aroostook County. “She has a passion for working with people who are experiencing mental health challenges. Her focus is on promoting resiliency and engaging those we serve to be active participants in their journey to wellness and healing.”

Suzanne has been working as a licensed clinical social worker for more than 15 years. She is a strong proponent of treatment methods that incorporate both mind and body therapies. Suzanne earned her Master of Social Work (MSW) from Yeshiva University – Wurzwiler School of Social Work in New York. A native New Yorker, she relocated to northern Maine in 2004. Suzanne is also a professional actress and singer and a graduate of The Juilliard School in New York.

For more information about AMHC services please contact AMHC’s Access Center at 1-800-244-6431.

AMHC Welcomes New Therapists to Central Aroostook

AMHC announces Krystal Griffiths, LMSW-CC and Andrea Chasse, LMSW-CC has joined its outpatient offices in central Aroostook.

Aroostook Mental Health Center (AMHC) is pleased to announce the addition of Krystal Griffiths, LMSW-CC and Andrea Chasse, LMSW-CC to its central Aroostook service area.

“AMHC is so pleased to have Krystal and Andrea joining our growing team of professionals,” said Lorraine Chamberlain, Director of Integration and Behavioral Health in Aroostook County. “Both women bring a diverse background of experience working with adolescents and adults experiencing mental health and/or substance use challenges. They will be a great asset to those we serve.”

Krystal is located in AMHC’s Presque Isle Outpatient Office at One Edgemont Drive. For the past nine years, she has provided services to adults and adolescents in Pennsylvania as well as Jamaica, West Indies. She has a broad range of experience in individual and group therapy, working with those in the correctional services system as well as experience assisting individuals in a psychiatric hospital. She is passionate about helping her clients reach their life goals while assisting them in managing their mental health challenges. She received her Bachelor of Social Work from Northern Caribbean University and a Master of Social Work from Shippensburg University, Pennsylvania.

Andrea is located in AMHC’s Caribou Outpatient Office at 43 Hatch Drive. While completing her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine at Presque Isle, Andrea interned in a hospice program. Upon graduation, she worked primarily with young children and teenagers. During that time, her emphasis was on the strength of each individual, providing social skills support, coping skills and ways to manage emotions in positive ways in order to support youth in achieving their goals.  While completing her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Maine, Orono, Andrea focused on experiential art therapy and the elderly. Since then, she has worked with elderly veterans and their spouses, and now as a generalist therapist. Andrea is currently working toward earning her LCSW credential. Once completed she will be independently licensed as a generalist practitioner therapist.

For more information about AMHC services please contact AMHC’s Access Center at 1-800-244-6431.

As Seen on WAGM This Morning: Stop the Stigma Related To Mental Health Part One

On this segment of WAGM This Morning we talk with local mental healthcare practitioners about the stigma related to mental health, how to overcome it and access local resources for help.

People can contact the Aroostook Mental health Center at: amhc.org and to make an appointment call AMHC’s Access Center at 1-800-244-6431 Maine Crisis Line 1-888-568-1112

https://www.wagmtv.com/content/news/As-Seen-on-WAGM-This-Morning-Stop-the-Stigma-Related-To-Mental-Health-Part-One-563693561.html

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