BANGOR, Maine -&nbspMaine citizens who make use of the state’ s mental health services are encouraged to attend a public forum to learn about a new opportunity to offer feedback and guidance to mental health services providers, public officials and policymakers.

A new law establishing Maine’ s mental health “consumer council system” took effect on June 28.
The text of the new law can be read in its entirety by clicking here.
It calls for consumers of mental health services to form six regional councils throughout the state to address problems in the mental health system at the local level. From these groups, the law calls for the election of 16 to 30 individuals to serve on a statewide council that will provide consumer feedback and guidance to the governor’ s office, the Department of Health and Human Services and other state agencies.

The establishment of an active consumer advisory council system has been added to the conditions of the settlement of the 1990 class action lawsuit filed on behalf of patients of the Augusta Mental Health Institute, commonly known as the AMHI consent decree. The document continues to influence the development of Maine’ s community mental health system and the services available to all Maine consumers.

The informational public forum will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, at the Bangor Motor Inn on Hogan Road. Individuals needing transportation or more information may call the Advocacy Initiative Network at 888-375-5969. Those unable to attend the meeting may submit comments by calling the same number on Monday, Aug. 11, during business hours.