The Star-Herald

AMHC seeks community feedback on opioid abuse

CARIBOU, Maine — Aroostook Mental Health Services Inc. recently received a Health Resources Services Administration Rural Community Opioid Response Planning grant for $200,000, which aims to reduce the morbidity and mortality of substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder in Aroostook County. 

Community feedback is a critical part of the planning effort. 

“This 18-month planning grant provides the funding needed to conduct a thorough needs assessment, gap analysis, strategic plan and action plan,” said Erik Lamoreau, project coordinator. 

“Our goal is to obtain feedback from as many individuals as possible from northern, central and southern Aroostook about what is working well and what is not working as we address the opioid crisis in our communities,” Lamoreau said.

  The agency is receiving support from its consortium members: Northern Maine Medical Center in Fort Kent, Cary Medical Center in Caribou, Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital in Presque Isle, Houlton Regional Hospital, the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office and Wabanaki Public Health. 

In addition, stakeholders from the recovery community, the emergency management system, municipalities, representatives of at-risk populations, community leaders and more are being contacted for one-on-one interviews, focus groups and/or participation in a community survey. 

“It’s critical that we hear from a diverse group to ensure we develop the best path forward for addressing this epidemic,” Lamoreau said.

A community survey will be provided electronically and by hard copy. 

“Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for individuals to respond,” said Lamoreau. “The community survey is available on AMHC’s Facebook page, on its website and will be widely distributed through community partners. The electronic version is mobile-friendly and we are happy to provide hard copies to individuals or organizations that prefer that method.” 

  This 10-minute survey will conclude at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. All individuals who include their name and a contact number will be entered into a drawing for one of four $50 gift cards. Winners will be contacted on Monday, Dec. 21. Gift cards will only be awarded to individuals living in Aroostook County.  

For more information, contact Lamoreau at elamoreau@amhc.org.

This project is funded completely by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Celebrating more than 55 years, AMHC is a nonprofit organization supporting nearly 6,000 clients annually. The agency has 26 service sites and 325 employees located across Aroostook, Washington and Hancock counties providing mental health, substance use, crisis and sexual assault services. 

For more information, visit www.amhc.org.

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