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Crisis & Counseling Centers Wins award at Maine’s Co-Occurring State Integration Initiative Gala Event

Augusta -

AUGUSTA – Crisis & Counseling Centers (C&C) was one of three state agencies recently recognized for its outstanding contribution to a grant pilot project for Maine’s Co-Occurring State Integration Initiative.

Maine’s Co-Occurring State Integration Initiative held a gala event June 25 at Maple Hill Farm Bed and Breakfast in Hallowell to celebrate the project and acknowledge the work of partner groups. More than 80 guests attended.

The initiative was part of a five-year project funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) through the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. The project will extend until 2011, but C&C’s active role in the project has concluded, according to Project Coordinator Claudia Bepko.

The other two organizations that took part with C&C in the first cohort of pilot sites are Aroostook Mental Health Center (AMHC) and Maine Medical Center / Spring Harbor Hospital. Over the five years the grant has been active, 30 agencies have had the opportunity to partner on the work, according to Bepko.

“Peter Wohl (C&C’s Director of Outpatient Services) has been an excellent community mentor,” Bepko said, adding that the three primary pilot organizations enrolled more than 100 clients each, submitted data and provided training opportunities and mentorship for other organizations.

“Receiving this award was a culmination of the process,” said Peter Wohl, adding that the organization has enjoyed mentoring new organizations.

“We have always tried to be in the forefront on co-occurring disorders in the state,” Wohl said, adding that individuals suffering from both substance abuse and mental health issues require intensive services.

“These people are just like you or me; They want to have relationships, jobs, opportunities … they don’t want to bounce between mental health facilities or prisons.”

Crisis & Counseling Centers is a private, nonprofit social service agency licensed by the State of Maine as a mental health and substance abuse treatment facility. With clinical programs operating out of nine locations, the organization is the sole provider of 24-hour mobile crisis response and stabilization in Kennebec and Somerset counties responding to more than 1,000 calls and conducting 450-500 face-to-face assessments each month.

C&C also provides outpatient and treatment of substance abuse, mental health, and Co-Occurring disorders to more than 1,000 individuals each year; integrated medical and behavioral health care in two large county jails; and family support services statewide through the G.E.A.R. Parent Network.

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 or from within Kennebec or Somerset Counties call 621-2552. For information, visit www.crisisandcounseling.org.

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