This article by the Bangor Daily News discusses the historic struggle against addition in Maine's Midcoast region, along with new opportunities for support.Read More
More Opportunities to Meet with a Peer
Co-Occurring Recovery and Engagement (CORE)
Our CORE program in Brunswick oversees a community Peer Support Specialist in a Peer Navigator position. The Peer Navigator provides outreach to individuals experiencing homelessness, food insecurity, or other vulnerable life circumstances, as well as those living with challenges maintaining mental health and/or substance use recovery in the Brunswick community.
Support and assistance is offered through outreach and engagement by establishing relationships, infusing hope for a better future, and modeling wellness with a focus on recovery. The Peer Navigator works in a team and in partnership with the community and agencies providing services for individuals in vulnerable circumstances, such as Soup Kitchens, Homeless Shelters, Day Shelters, etc. The Peer Navigator conducts outreach, builds trusting relationships, offers shared experiences and education on local systems and networks, access to support groups, support in securing basic needs and other recovery resources.
We offer a variety of Peer Support Groups at several locations which are open to everyone receiving any kind of service at Maine Behavioral Healthcare. This includes, case management, med management, individual therapy or DBT, residential services and Pride Program members.
Peer groups are run by peers, for peers, and without clinical oversight or reporting.
Please contact your provider for a list of available peer-led support groups at the location in which you receive services.
One-on-One Peer Support
is available to all members of our Behavioral Health Home (BHH) program.
What is a BHH?
A BHH is NOT a residence, home, or a place where people live. The State of Maine changed the model for traditional case management to be more inclusive, or integrated, with physical health and “recovery” for MaineCare recipients. The BHH is a team approach to mental health and wellness that includes a case manager, nurse care manager, and Peer Support Specialist. The BHH model, implemented under Section 92 of the MaineCare regulations, provides better care coordination and access to services that address both mental and physical health, as a whole person approach to wellness. The Peer Support Specialist does not provide clinical assessment or traditional service provider functions within the team. The Peer Support Specialist uses Intentional Peer Support to build mutually supportive relationships that allow each person to grow and learn together. The Peer Support Specialist also supports BHH members in self-advocacy in determining treatment and provider services and goals. The BHH program is for MaineCare members with “Serious Emotional Disorders (SED), and Serious and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI), with the goal of integrating and coordinating treatment toward improved physical and behavioral health outcomes.”
Youth Peer Support is also being developed in partnership with THRIVE/Youth M.O.V.E. Maine for youth clients of the BHH in Portland, ages 14-26. MBH hopes to replicate this partnership for all MBH BHH programs in Maine.
The service is available at the following locations:
Create Beautiful Artwork while Building Self-Confidence
The Life Enrichment Art Program offers a variety of arts and creative opportunities for York County residents and clients of MBH. Life Enrichment funding supports classes at the Recovery Center and at two MBH offices, Sherry Sabo Center in Biddeford and the MBH Springvale Office. The purpose of The Life Enrichment Art Program is to build a supportive community for people interested in improving their physical, spiritual and emotional wellness through a variety of creative and interactive experiences. Some of the classes offered include watercolor painting (with a twist), Polymer clay design, Painting wooden frames, Decorating personal journals, Driftwood and shell wind chimes, inspirational painted wooden plaques, painted terracotta planters and designing and personalizing handmade cards. Many participants have shared that the opportunity to be creative in the classes and interact with others has enriched their lives and allowed them to create friendships which now continue outside the class. An added benefit is they have an opportunity to create beautiful art work, build self-confidence and have fun in the process.
The program is based in building mutual respect and compassion for all who choose to participate.
The classes are held four days a week at the following locations:
Recovery Centers in Biddeford and Sanford
What is a Recovery Center?
The Peer-run Recovery Centers are a community space for anyone that has or is having struggles with maintaining mental health and/or substance use recovery. Centers are managed by paid and volunteer Certified Intentional Peer Support Specialists and are NOT a clinical or therapy environment.
- Low-cost meals, recreational and social opportunities.
- Peer support groups led by peers, like Pathways to Recovery and Alternatives to Suicide groups.
- Opportunities for members to access employment support.
- Art classes, gardening groups, and other weekly group activities.
Trainings have included CPR and First AID, Overdose Prevention and NARCAN, Cultural Competency-Diversity and Social Justice Trainings, and many more.
Peers can become members of the Centers and be elected to leadership and volunteer positions. Peer members have an active voice in Center decisions and can create, start, and facilitate groups that could benefit other members. They seek to be a welcoming, inclusive and supportive environment for all people that have had life challenges. They celebrate people’s strengths and support their self-directed life goals.
Our Locations and Hours
15 York Street
12 Union Street
19 Washington Street
Both centers are currently open to the public from 8 AM - 5 PM. Additional hours may be available - please call for more information.
One-on-One Peer Support and Peer-led Support Groups
The Southern Maine Health Care’s hospital in Biddeford has developed a program that allows Certified Intentional Peer Support Specialists to provide Peer Support on the Mental Health Unit and Emergency Department on a volunteer basis. The Peer Support Specialist also provides transitional support to patients after discharge, in order to help facilitate connections to recovery and/or wellness resources in the community, including local Peer Support groups for our clients if requested.
Schedules and availability of our Peer Services vary by location. Due to hiring and program realities, there may be times when a Peer Support might not be available. Please contact your local office for more information specific to your area and to access a current group calendar:
Public Recovery Centers: