In the wake of the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, last month, the state has launched an online behavioral health request portal to support the mental health needs of Maine residents.

Gov. Janet Mills said an online form, managed by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), can be used by communities and organizations to request special behavioral health support, such as on-site mental health clinics, or assistance tailored for specific communities, following the tragedy in Lewiston.

“Many of us have been feeling a range of emotions this past week, from shock and sadness to anxiety and fear to grief and anger,” the governor said earlier this month. “I have felt many of these emotions myself, and I am sure that we will all feel these things in the coming days. I want Maine people to know this: if you feel this way, that is okay,” Gov. Mills said.

“Mental health counseling and other behavioral health resources are available to community leaders from across Maine, from school principals to business owners to nonprofit directors, to help your networks navigate this difficult time,” she said. “I encourage any organizations who are in need to take advantage of this new resource.”

The online form is open to any organization in the state of Maine and offers connections to mental health counseling, crisis and trauma support, victim support, school-based support, employee assistance, and psychological first aid. DHHS will reach out to the organization’s contact person within 24 hours, or the next business day if the request is received on the weekend.

“The profound mental health impacts of last week’s tragedy in Lewiston are just beginning to emerge,” said Jeanne Lambrew, Commissioner of the state’s Department of Health and Human Services. “We want organizations and communities in Maine – including schools, municipalities, businesses, nonprofits, and more – to know that help is available. We encourage any group in need of support to complete this new form to explore connections to assistance and tools. For individuals in need of support, please call 988 for free, confidential mental health help.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs