May is National Mental Health Awareness Month and Northern Light Health is asking municipal officials across the state to get the word out by adopting a proclamation to spread awareness and remove stigma associated with behavioral health. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or co-worker, chances are someone you know is living with a behavioral health condition. Sadly, only about 55% of affected Mainers receive any form of treatment due in part to overburdened facilities. Concerns about behavioral health issues, including substance use, have grown during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the effects will outlast the pandemic itself.
- 15.5% of Maine’s youth (ages 12–17), or 14,000, have suffered from at least one major depressive episode in the past year, compared to the national average of 13.8%
- 38.6% of the state’s youth with major depression do not receive any mental health treatment
- 4.6% of Maine’s youth report having a substance use disorder in the past year compared to the national average of 3.8%
- Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the waitlist to access Northern Light Acadia Hospital’s outpatient services was around 425 people; today, that number has grown more than 1,000 percent to more than 4,000 Mainers from all corners of the state reaching out to us for support
- On an average day, dozens of Maine people are languishing in Emergency Department’s across the state, unable to access the critical behavioral health services they desperately need due to a lack of inpatient beds in Maine
Click here to download the sample proclamation (Word format)
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