Jenna Mehnert

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Those who work in the field of mental health say that just as cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in Maine, so is the level of anxiety. Calls to both the state crisis line and the non-crisis "warm" line are up.

This is the first segment of a special two-hour Maine Calling, airing live from 1-2 pm. For the second segment, click here.

With medical attention focused on the coronavirus, and concerns about spread of the disease curtailing interactions between patients and health care providers, we discuss how non-coronavirus health care is being affected. How are mental health treatment, dental care, and other medical issues being addressed?

Former Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck now leads Maine’s Department of Public Safety. We discuss some of the important issues in public safety, including the state shortage of law enforcement officers, helping officers better respond to situations involving a suspect with mental illness or addiction, the opioid crisis, criminal justice issues, highway safety and more.

Nearly one in five American adults—43.8 million people—experienced some type of diagnosable mental illness in 2013. State and national news stories quite regularly feature people who are surprised by the acts of others they thought they knew. Sadly, there is a stigma that prevents many from getting the help they need. We’ll discuss attempts to overcome this stigma and the role of community mental health services.

Suicide Prevention

Sep 22, 2017

Suicide was the second leading cause of death in Maine and the United States among adolescents aged 10-24 and adults aged 25-34 from 2012-2014. Suicide was the fourth leading cause of death among adults in Maine and the United States aged 35-54 from 2012-2014. Our panel discusses ways to increase awareness about suicide prevention, improve access to preventive and intervention services, and how to reduce suicide in Maine.

Guests:  Jenna Mehnert, MSW, Executive Director of National Alliance on Mental Illness.