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New Working Group Will Focus On Maine's Mental Health System

A new working group kicked off its first meeting in Augusta Friday morning to review Maine's mental health system and make recommendations for improvements.

The co-chair of the group, Democratic Senator Cathy Breen, says she wants to reverse what she sees as a trend towards re-institutionalization, "where folks with persistent mental illness, with substance-use disorders, are winding up in hospitals, inpatient settings, jails, prisons."

Breen says the goal of the group is to create a plan that uses existing resources more effectively so people can get care before they are in crisis.

The working group, which includes law enforcement, providers, advocates and consumers, will meet several more times before producing a report in December.