AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) – Representative Charlotte Warren and Senator Cathy Breen have been tasked with reviewing and rethinking mental health in Maine.
The two have recruited a committee to examine how the state is treating those with mental illness and whether or not the current system is working.
“We have a program in Maine Med that we’re going to try to scale up state wide, where we screen and identify adolescence and young adults who are at high risk of having the onset of psychotic illnesses. And then getting them very early interventions either before it starts or right after it starts. And the research is really robust that those kids wind up with much much better outcomes over the course of their lives,” says Breen.
“We can do a much better job helping those with mental health and challenges through diversion of resources in the community rather than incarceration. No one wins when individuals are incarcerated,” says Maine’s DOC Commissioner, Randall Liberty.
“I spend many days of my life in the legislature speaking with police officers, speaking with firefighters. Folks who are on the front lines, and they are asking us for help. They are asking us for help with the crisis, the crisis that’s both mental illness and substance use disorder,” says Warren.
The group is expected to have a report by December 4th that will include recommendations for a mental health plan for the state.
The next meeting will be held on October 4th.