The Star-Herald

Aroostook Mental Health Center receives grant for suicide prevention work

CARIBOU, Maine — Aroostook Mental Health Center 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.” 

“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,” Ferris said. “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.” 

According to Ferris, Aroostook Mental Health Center 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 the center serves. The questions asked help reduce the stigma associated with suicide and staff are more comfortable assessing for risk. The center also is able to collect data specific to suicide and learn from that data to help its clientele.

Aroostook Mental Health Center has 26 service sites and 325 employees located across Aroostook, Washington and Hancock counties providing mental health, substance use, crisis and sexual assault services.

Connect with Aroostook Mental Health Center at amhc.org

For more information on “Zero Suicide,” visit zerosuicide.com

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