Maine people affected by the violence in Lewiston are encouraged to reach out and connect with behavioral health support. Incidents of mass violence can lead to a range of emotional reactions, including anxiety, fear, anger, despair and a sense of helplessness that may begin immediately or in the days or weeks following the event.
Tragedies may also cause people to turn to substance use, putting themselves and others at risk.
For information on crisis hotlines, see the Department’s news release.
If you’re looking for ways to help Lewiston victims and their families, visit Healing Together: Supporting Victims and Families of the Tragedy in Lewiston, an online clearinghouse for organizations involved in the community and health care response.
For help coping with a traumatic event
- Incidents of mass violence (U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
- Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event (U.S. CDC)
- Tips for Coping with Stress (U.S. CDC)
For kids, families and caregivers
- Talking to Children About Gun Violence (Maine Department of Education)
- Helping young children feel safe and cope with grief (From the makers of Sesame Street)
- Free multilingual trauma resources (From the Child Mind Institute)
- Building resilience in children (From HealthyChildren.org)
- Resources compiled by Maine pediatricians (From the Maine Chapter of the Academy of Pediatrics)
For those affected by substance use
Maine residents in recovery can connect with a local liaison through OPTIONS (Overdose Prevention Through Intensive Outreach, Naloxone and Safety), which sends mobile response teams to connect people directly to recovery services and treatment and distribute naloxone, the lifesaving overdose medication.
- Visit or call the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services at 207-287-7020
- Visit or call the VA Maine Healthcare System (dial 207-623-8411 ext. 5515 for mental health care)
- VA Maine Mental Health Resources with specific links to information on suicide prevention, support for health care providers, and COMPACT Act.
For the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- Visit the Maine Association for the Deaf for information on resources, counseling, volunteer opportunities, and more.
For Interpretation Services
Interpretation services on these hotlines are available in the following ways:
- If the caller is deaf or hard-of-hearing, dial 7-1-1 for the Maine Relay Service, which will then connect you to the appropriate resource.
- If the caller needs an interpreter and one is not present with them at the time of their call, they should let the call specialist know the language they speak and the call specialist will have an interpretation service join via phone and then proceed with the call.
- If an interpreter is present with a caller at the time of the call, the caller is welcome to identify themselves as an interpreter and say they are calling on behalf of someone who needs interpretation. No interpreter certification is required.
Read more Information on Community-Based Organization Resources for Lewiston’s Residents, including culturally-affirming and inclusive support.
For organizations and communities
Maine DHHS has launched an online form for communities and organizations to request special behavioral health support, such as on-site mental health clinics, or assistance tailored for specific communities. The form is open to any organization in the state of Maine and offers connections to mental health counseling, crisis and trauma support, victim support, school-based support, employee assistance, and psychological first aid.
Other mental health resources
- Call (207) 221-8198 for help coping with stress: The StrengthenME Helpline offers free stress management and resiliency resources to anyone in Maine experiencing stress reactions from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. StrengthenME can help people develop coping strategies before emotional challenges escalate into more serious mental health problems.
- Call 866-771-9276 to speak with staff with lived experience with mental health conditions: The Intentional Peer Support Warmline serves adults, aged 18 and older, offering conversations with a trained peer specialist to encourage and foster recovery, move toward wellness and reconnect with community.