Life is complex. Sometimes we all need a little help.
Help for Helpers
Substance misuse, mental illness, family violence, learning disabilities, creative family structures, and any number of other challenges can take a toll on the people who are trying to provide support and love to those at the center of the storm. This is a short collection of some of the resources in the community that can help you as you help others. Click on the name of each resource to visit their website.
Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine, Inc. & the Kinship Program (AFFM) provides support services for adoptive and foster parents, and kinship providers. AFFM provides the training, guidance, knowledge, and resources needed to handle complex issues as families open their hearts and homes to children. Special services are available to kinship providers. AFFM is dedicated to assisting families to help children find the security they deserve.
Al-Anon's Purpose: Al-Anon is a fellowship of those who are affected by another's drinking who come together to share their experience, strength and hope in order to solve their common problems. We have but one purpose: to help families and friends of alcoholics. If you feel you have been affected by someone's drinking, you are welcome at Al-Anon meetings. If you are a teenager affected by someone's drinking, you are welcome at Alateen meetings as well as Al-Anon meetings.
Mediation services help families and community members resolve a range of conflicts. Some are multi-generational; others involve disputes arising from co-parenting, blended families, and divorce. Various groups and organizations other than families can also seek help in resolving difficult conflicts with issues such as: landlord or housing conflicts, school concerns, mental health, substance use and domestic violence challenges; neighbor to neighbor concerns; cultural diversity; and legal concerns. The Opportunity Alliance's (TOA) mediation program is a low barrier service open to anyone in Cumberland and York counties regardless of ability to pay. Mediation services are available statewide through other organizations; TOA Mediation can connect you to the services that are closest to you.
Through parent-to-parent sharing of experiences and knowledge, G.E.A.R. Parent Network empowers parents of children with behavioral health needs to build on their family’s strengths and to advocate for their family’s needs.
The Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence is comprised of eight local domestic violence resource centers, which provide 24-hour services to people impacted by abuse in all corners of our state. MCEDV works closely with our member organizations and community partners to increase safety for people impacted by domestic violence, and to hold batterers accountable.
The Nar-Anon Family Groups is primarily for those who know or have known a feeling of desperation concerning the addiction problem of someone very near to you. We have traveled that unhappy road too, and found the answer with serenity and peace of mind. When you come into the family group, you are no longer alone, but among true friends who understand your problem as few others could. We respect your confidence and anonymity as we know you will respect ours. We hope to give you the assurance that no situation is too difficult and no unhappiness is too great to be overcome.
NAMI Maine is our state’s and the nation's largest grassroots support, education and advocacy organization committed to the issue of mental illness. With seven affiliates and hundreds of members, NAMI Maine is an active voice for families, individuals and professionals whose daily lives are impacted by mental illness.
Cumberland & York Resources
The Center for Grieving Children provides peer support, outreach, and education for children and their families. We recognize that children need peers and caring adults to support them through their grief, because death profoundly affects every aspect of their lives. Offering our services for free, for as long as people need them, the Center’s mission is to provide loving support that encourages the safe expression of grief and loss and fosters each individual’s resilience and emotional well-being.
The Maine Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services has identified Day One as having “a proven track record in providing services to substance abusing youth” and noted that “Day One is the only designated Center of Excellence dealing exclusively with adolescents.”Our services include training and education, assessment, screening, referrals, and treatment for individuals, groups, families, schools, and communities throughout Maine. We offer a range of services based on individual needs. Consultations are confidential and free.
Family Hope was created from the frustration experienced by many families and friends as they struggled to find help for someone they care about who lives with mental illness. Founder Donna Betts started this effort as a passionate response to her own family’s struggles; she quickly discovered she was not alone in facing the hurdles and barriers of working with disconnected mental health resources in Maine. Family Hope is dedicated to educating, providing encouragement, and suggesting resources to aid family members and friends help someone they care about who is living with mental illness, strive toward recovery. Family Hope was incorporated in 2012 to educate, encourage and guide Maine families who care about someone living with mental illness.
In late 2011, a group of people living in recovery from Substance Use Disorder came together to form the Addict in the Family support group. After having experienced first hand the damage done to our families and loved ones through our own addiction, we wished to provide a group that could tend to a family’s specific needs. With our knowledge of active addiction and recovery, we were able to provide a unique perspective that would inspire hope and direction to families suffering from a loved one’s addiction. As the meeting began growing, it became more evident that the need for assistance, both educational and emotional, was needed during the treatment and after care stage. It soon became apparent that one of the biggest obstacles to tackle for most families was financially supporting their loved one into treatment. The idea soon came to mind to start a scholarship fund, dedicated to providing assistance for families to get their loved one the help they needed.
Separation and divorce. As painful as it is for parents, it's the kids who may pay the highest price - the hurt can last a lifetime. But it doesn't have to be that way and that's where the Kids First Center comes in. Providing practical information and support, we offer programming for parents, children and adolescents, and professionals.
Face The Issue serves as resource for those with a friend or loved one who is suffering alone. Starting a conversation is the first step in supporting those with mental illness and helping to guide them toward recovery. Face the Issue first launched in 2003 as an online resource for mental health sufferers. With animated shorts narrated by celebrities like Nicole Kidman and Halle Berry and a forum for anonymous group support, the site has been a huge success both in building a community and raising awareness around mental health issues.