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October 27, 2023

How to get help in crisis, and what some Maine employers are doing to assist workers

As details from the tragic events of Wednesday night in Lewiston continue to unfold, their impact has been felt across the state. 

For many Mainers, a sense of trust and safety has been shattered, while parents may be unsure how to speak to their children about the violence and help them feel safe. Resources are available for those struggling with mental health or trying to cope with loss. 

“The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) encourages anyone affected by the violence in Lewiston to reach out and connect with behavioral health support,” the department said in a statement.

“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. Seek help immediately if you or someone you know is talking about suicide, feelings of hopelessness or unbearable pain, or about being a burden to others.”

Immediate support

211: Call 211 for general information, including how to access behavioral health and social service resources, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Information can also be found at

National Alliance on Mental Illness, Crisis Line: 1-888-568-1112 (988). If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the crisis line to speak with a trained crisis clinician 24/7. The Mobile Crisis Team operates 24/7 and can respond to meet the needs of wherever individuals or families are located.

Sweetser: Peer-to-peer support is available for adults, offering free mutual conversations with a trained peer specialists who have experience with mental health recovery. Intentional warm line: 1-866-771-9276. Non-emergency Sweetser promise line: 1-800-434-3000. Access to non-emergency mental health services: you can reach a mental health specialist by calling the number above or emailing

Teen support lines:  Available from NAMI Maine every day from noon to 10 p.m. for youth 13 to 24 years old. NAMI Maine Help Line: 1-800-464-5767. Text support line for teens: 207-515-8398.

Clinicians, educators and first responders can call 1-800-769-9819. The FrontLine WarmLine offers free support services to help these professionals manage the stress of responding to disasters from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and Carelon Behavioral Health offer all Mainers free access to crisis support, regardless of whether they are Anthem members. Anyone needing assistance can speak with a health professional by calling 1-800-580-6934.

Northern Light Acadia Hospital: Experienced team of counselors and psychiatrists have rallied to compile helpful resources to assist Mainers struggling to process the violence that has happened. Information can be found at

Local businesses

Jon Paradise, spokesman for Town & Country Federal Credit Union, told Mainebiz that the company had been proactively communicating with staff members and reminding them about available mental health resources. 

“We understand that this is very overwhelming for all and that processing it will take time and we believe it was important to let staff know that we have mental health resources available to support them during this time," he said.

Bath Iron Works offers counseling services to all employees through its Life365 program and on-site resources through Fit for Life.

The University of Maine offers resources to students, including the UMaine Counseling Center: 207-581-1392;  UMaine Student Life Office: 207-581-1406; Employee Assistance Program: 1-877-622-4327 or (employer ID: UMS); and the UMaine Police Department: 207-581-4040.

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