AUGUSTA, ME – Crisis & Counseling Centers (C&C) was recognized for its vision and treatment of individuals with co-occurring disorders at the Co-Occurring Collaborative Serving Maine’s (CCSME) annual Meeting on Feb. 15.
The event was held at the Maine Hospital Association facility and C&C Clinical Director Michael Mitchell accepted the award. The agency is the sole provider of crisis emergency services for Kennebec and Somerset Counties serving individuals with mental health, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders. The agency provides healthcare services to correctional facilities in Maine.
“We are exceptionally proud of the work we do in the community and are especially appreciative when our partners single us out for recognition,” said Mitchell. “This shows that not only do we make a difference in the lives of those we serve, but that we are seen as a valuable team player in helping Maine be the best.”
This is the first award the coalition has given to an agency and CCSME’s Executive Director Catherine Chichester said that it was presented to C&C because of the agency’s “accomplishments and vision” to advance behavioral health treatment and recovery services, particularly in the correctional population.
“We wanted to recognize the agency for supporting integrated services for people who have both mental health and substance abuse issues as well as other complex conditions,” said Chichester, adding that unfortunately people who experience co-occurring disorders frequently end up in correctional facilities.
Chichester said the work C&C has done with this population is vital because it not only helps individuals who enter the correctional system with these complex disorders, but also addresses the specific needs of that population to help keep them out of jail.
“We are committed to helping people understand how they become stuck in criminal and anti-social behavior and what they can do to break loose,” Mitchell said. “This treatment is not only important for these individuals, but also crucial to us as a society.”
Chichester said the collaborative worked closely with C&C for many years and the agency has a “historical background of doing this sort of work and partnering with us in a variety of ways so it is appropriate for them to receive the award.”
In addition to recognizing C&C, the collaborative presented three awards to individuals. Sherriff Randy Liberty of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office was recognized for working to advance treatment for individuals experiencing a co-occurring disorder while incarcerated.
“We wanted to acknowledge Sherriff Liberty’s outstanding work in treating this population and C&C’s efforts in delivering these services,” Chichester said.
Other awards went to former C&C CEO Andrew Loman (for his years of commitment to advance recovery for co-occurring disorders) and Mary Haynes, Clinical Director at Community Health and Counseling in Bangor, for her “visionary guidance and dedication to co-occurring treatment.
Crisis & Counseling Centers is a private, nonprofit agency licensed by the state of Maine as a mental health and substance abuse treatment facility. With clinical programs operating out of eight locations, C&C provides outpatient medication management, substance abuse, and mental health treatment; as well as integrated medical and behavioral healthcare in two large county jails and family support services statewide through the G.E.A.R. Parent Network. The agency is the sole provider of 24-hour mobile crisis response and stabilization in Kennebec and Somerset counties.
The mission of Crisis & Counseling Centers is to develop and deliver effective solutions to the diverse behavioral health needs of the community in a professional and respectful manner. If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, please call the Voice & TTY Maine Crisis Line at 1-888-568-1112. For information, visit crisisandcounseling.org.