Senator Susan Collins visits Crisis Stabilization Unit in Presque Isle

Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 10:26 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - : Senator Susan Collins was in the County today learning about what is being done here to combat the opioid crises and learn more about available mental health services. The Aroostook Mental Health Center [AMHC] is one of eight Adult crisis units state wide. This month they expanded their adult crisis stabilization unit in Presque Isle. News Source 8 Adriana Sanchez has the story.

“We expanded our adult crisis stabilization unit from five to eight beds here in Presque Isle we expanded because we outgrew that facility. The need was so great to add more capacity so we can serve more people here in our community, here in Aroostook county. We do have people come from other parts in the state as well but we needed more room to offer more services,” said Michelle Ferris, Program Director of Emergency Services at AMHC.

Senator Collins was in Aroostook County Thursday and paid a visit to the crisis stabilization.  She says she is impressed by the services AMHC has to offer.  She says, with the current opioid crisis, these services are crucial to the state of Maine and the County.

“So I didn’t realize their reach was so broad. I was also impressed to learn today that they have a 24 hour crisis line and that is so important because a lot of times despair and overdoses don’t occur between 8 and five they are most likely to occur at night time and the fact they have someone always handling their phone is really critical,” said Senator Collins.

Senator Collins says she is taking what she has learned during this visit back to Washington.

“I’m helping the consortium with federal funding and one issue that was brought to my attention today is to improve the Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements that will enable the Aroostook mental health center to serve more people. There are certain providers despite the fact that they are licensed by the state they are not recognized under the Medicare rules and that means they can’t be reimbursed that obviously decreases the number of people who can be served so when I go to Washington next week that’s something that is an issue that I will be working on as well,” added Collins.

To find more information on AMHC, you can visit their website.

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