Maine offers mental health resources

As the pandemic nears its third year, Maine officials are urging people suffering from burnout and depression to seek help through new state programs like StrengthenME.

At the state’s weekly COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday, Health Commissioner Jeanne Lambew said it was normal to worry about the economic strain, health risks and continued uncertainty that the pandemic imposes on daily life.

“Caring for your mental health is as important as protecting public health,” Lambew said. “We encourage you to be aware of both this holiday season.”

She noted several resources available to Mainers, including the state’s pandemic-focused StrengthenME support program, available online and at 207-221-8198. The state says in a press release that it offers resources to “help people develop coping strategies and self-care practices before emotional challenges escalate into more serious mental health issues.” .

“Doing the right thing to limit exposure and avoid spreading COVID-19 can be difficult, especially during this uncertain time when many are suffering from ‘pandemic fatigue,'” the state epidemiologist said, Dr. Nirav Shah, in a press release. “While it’s more important than ever to get vaccinated, wear a mask in public places and keep your distance to protect our physical health, it’s also crucial to take care of our mental health.”

The state also offers its FrontLine WarmLine hotline for healthcare workers, school personnel and first responders, available daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 207-221-8196. And anyone can call or text the Maine Crisis Line at 888-568-1112, seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

“Behavioral health resources are also accessible through Maine’s 211 service,” the state’s statement said. “Dial 211, text your zip code to 898-211, email or visit”

If you or someone you know is in crisis or contemplating suicide, don’t go through it alone. Help is always available. Use the resources above or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; deaf and hard of hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

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