Social Media's Influence on Mental Health to be Explored at Community Forum October 4th

September 15, 2016

Maine Behavioral Healthcare | All News 

Contact: Valerie Compagna, Manager of Marketing and Communications, at 661.6633 or

Westbrook, Maine (September 15, 2016) - It Takes a Community, a Maine Behavioral Healthcare initiative, will present a free community forum, “Social Media and Mental Health: Does it HELP or
on October 4th, 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Westbrook High School auditorium, 125 Stroudwater St., Westbrook, ME. The program will stream live from Maine Behavioral Healthcare’s YouTube channel. While social media is here to stay, there is considerable information to be shared about its benefits and potential drawbacks. This forum will explore our understanding of social media as it relates to mental health and overall well-being. Speakers will provide insight into this topic by exploring three primary themes:

  1. Social Media impact on teens – how to use it in a healthy way and what parents should know.
    Guest speakers Dr. Erin Belfort, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Training Director at Maine Medical Center and Dory Hacker, LCSW at Maine Behavioral Healthcare, will share their clinical knowledge.
  2. Social Media as a creative means to stay connected – how people can bridge geographic and personal health limitations to improve lives.
    Martin Baker, co-author of High Tide, Rising Tide: The Caring Friend’s Guide to Bipolar Disorder, will describe his unique perspective via televideo from the United Kingdom.
  3. Social Media as a way to influence the stigma of mental illness – how can we become the solution to reducing stigma?

The forum will be moderated by Diane Atwood, author of the Catching Health with Diane Atwood blog, and will include a welcome by Stephen Merz, President & CEO, Maine Behavioral Healthcare. This event is free and open to the public. To reserve seating, guests are asked to “like” the Maine Behavioral Healthcare FaceBook page (@MaineBehavioralHC) and sign up on the events page. For questions, please contact Valerie Compagna at (207) 661-6633 or

Maine Behavioral Healthcare was created in 2014 to provide an integrated continuum of comprehensive, coordinated healthcare for Maine residents of all ages. The new organization, part of MaineHealth, includes Spring Harbor Hospital, southern Maine’s only nonprofit, private psychiatric hospital, and a broad range of community-based intensive and recovery treatment services offered at some 30 service locations from York to Norway to Belfast. It Takes a Community is a volunteer committee focused on educating the public and reducing stigma of mental illness.