University of Maine at Machias
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This study is the first in a series of planned investigations into pathways to care for adolescents and young adults with serious mental illness in Washington County. Resources were identified that may support a network for identifying and accessing services. Over 120 agencies were categorized into one of seven types: education, mental health, health, substance use / recovery, community / library, and law enforcement. Web-based information was collected for 85 of these agencies and representatives of 47 of these agencies were interviewed about challenges, collaborations, and ideas for solutions. We found a great deal of collaboration among agencies within different service sectors. For example, there is regular collaboration among health agencies, among educational agencies, and among agencies serving children and families. We identified networks that support the LGBTQ+ community as well as victims of domestic violence. Three agencies stood out with number and type of collaborations regarding youth and mental illness: Healthy Acadia, the Community Caring Collaborative, and the Aroostook Mental Health Center. We collated information about types of obstacles into these categories by frequency of mention: Lack of Services / Providers, Stigma / Community Culture, Transportation / Distance, Information Shortage, Cost, and Mistrust of Providers. Five areas of ideas from interviewees to address these challenges are provided. We end this report by highlighting some national, state, county, and local efforts to address these challenges as well as next steps for our research team.
Hecker, Jeffrey E.; Kuntz, Lois-Ann; and Lane, Carol, "Washington County Asset Map and Needs Assessment : Building a Network to Serve Youths at Risk for Serious Mental Illness" (2022). Psychology Faculty Scholarship. 38.
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