Our hearts go out to all those impacted by the tragedy that occurred in Lewiston yesterday, and to all of those continuing to work to bring this situation to a close. As providers of behavioral health care services across the state of Maine, the members of the Alliance want to make sure that people understand that resources are available to all those in need of support, reassurance, guidance, and direct care.
It is not uncommon for individuals and communities as a whole to experience grief reactions after an incident of community violence. Grief is the normal response of sorrow, emotion, and confusion that comes from losing someone or something important to you. Most people will experience a natural occurrence of grief after the death of a loved one, but grief and anger can be the result of other types of losses. In situations of community violence, people may experience the loss of their sense of safety, their trust in those who live in their neighborhood, or their trust in local government or institutions. The trauma and grief of community violence can be experienced by many not directly involved as well.
If you, or a family member, need someone to talk to during this difficult time, do not hesitate to reach out for help. Please make sure you are also checking in with your loved ones, discussing how you are feeling, taking breaks from the news to give yourself time to process, and seeking help if needed.
Our system of care for mental health and substance use challenges has been heavily impacted over the past few years due to the public health crisis of the COVID pandemic, but it remains ready to respond and provide support to our communities as we come together to regain our collective sense of safety.
The Alliance member agencies stand ready to assist the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Maine people, and our communities in recovering from this horrendous event.
Call or text 988: This suicide and behavioral health crisis hotline is answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week by trained crisis specialists offering free, confidential support for anyone. Specialists also can respond by chat at 988lifeline.org.
Teens and young adults can text (207) 515-8398: The National Alliance on Mental Illness Teen Text Line connects youth with other youth to help them manage their challenges every day from noon to 10 p.m.
Call the intentional Warm Line at 1-866-771-9276 for mental health support for adults (aged 18 and older) for free mutual conversations with a trained peer specialist who has lived experiences with mental health recovery.
Clinicians, educators and first responders can call 1-800-769-9819: The FrontLine Warm Line offers free support services to help these professionals manage the stress of responding to disasters from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.
Search a listing of behavioral health statewide agencies at this link.
The Living Room Crisis Center located at 62 Elm Street in Portland is open 7am to 7pm, seven days a week, or call (207) 535-2096.
If you’re unsure, contact 211. It provides general information, including how to access behavioral health and social service resources, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Information can also be found at 211maine.org.
All of these resources provide free, confidential support.