May is National Mental Health Awareness Month

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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