May 08, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) and Representative Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) participated in a video teleconference with Maine Alliance for Addiction and Mental Health Services to connect with their staff that work with Maine’s behavioral health organizations and help those coping with substance use disorders and mental health challenges. Reports show that the coronavirus pandemic is taking a toll on Americans who already struggle with mental health challenges and substance use disorders, and are in need of guidance and information about the resources available to them.
“The social isolation required to slow the coronavirus is impacting us all – but possibly no members of our communities are harder hit than those who struggle with mental health and substance use disorders,” said Senator King. “During this challenging time when normal support systems can be harder to access, behavioral health organizations are stepping up to help these vulnerable individuals. Even though we can’t gather physically, these organizations remind us all that we will get through this, together – and I’ll keep fighting to make sure they have every tool at their disposal to help Maine people during and after this crisis.”
“The emotional and economic repercussions of this pandemic on Mainers with substance use disorder, and those with who live with a behavioral and mental health diagnosis, are incredibly significant,” said Congresswoman Pingree. “Congress needs to ensure that providers of behavioral health care have the resources they need to safely remain connected to patients throughout this crisis. I was pleased to join the Alliance for Addiction and Mental Health Services today to discuss their needs and outline why I’ve requested $38.5 billion for these providers in the next COVID-19 relief package. We must protect behavioral mental health and social support organizations in Maine so they can continue operating and have the tools to remain safe and healthy.”
“Senator King and Representative Pingree have been consistent advocates for investing in the safety net for those struggling with mental health and substance use disorder,” said Malory Shaughnessy, Executive Director, Alliance for Addiction and Mental Health Services and the Maine Behavioral Health Foundation. “We're thankful they are urging their colleagues in Congress to support the work of our community based providers. Their leadership is exactly what we need in Washington in these times of great disruption.”
"We so appreciate the strong leadership and advocacy of Senator King and Representative Pingree, for the people of Maine who are impacted by Behavioral Health needs, trauma, substance use disorder, intellectual disabilities and autism. Their work in Congress is making a real difference in the lives of Maine people." Eric Meyer, President of the Board, Alliance for Addiction and Mental Health Services, and CEO of Spurwink Services.
Formed in 2016, the Maine Alliance for Addiction and Mental Health Services is a statewide membership association for community behavioral health organizations that provide prevention, treatment, and recovery support for people across the state of Maine.