Film screening series creates community forum to address opiate crisis in Maine
The Farmington screening of an upcoming Netflix documentary is meant to raise awareness and provide resources to help combat Maine’s most urgent public health crisis.
Points North Institute, along with support from MaineHealth and its family organizations, Franklin Community Health Network and Maine Behavioral Healthcare, are partnering to organize a free film screening and community discussion about the ongoing opioid crisis in Maine and across the nation on Thursday, April 18, at 5:30 p.m. in the Thomas Auditorium at the University of Maine Farmington campus.
The film is an intimate look at four men in West Virginia attempting to reinvent their lives and mend broken relationships after years of drug misuse. The goal of this event is to raise awareness about the impacts of the opioid crisis in Maine, while identifying emerging solutions and available resources in Greater Franklin County. Community members from all backgrounds are invited to listen, learn and participate in the conversation.
“We are losing hundreds of Mainers every year—418 alone in 2017—to the epidemic of opioid use disorder and addiction,” says Timothy Churchill, president of Franklin Community Health Network. “As Maine’s largest integrated health care delivery system, MaineHealth and its health systems are investing substantial resources in developing community-based solutions to address prevention, education and treatment of Opioid Use Disorder. Here in Greater Franklin County, our primary care practices are partnering with Evergreen Behavioral Services and Maine Behavioral Healthcare to provide treatment to patients in need. This film festival will facilitate an important dialog in our communities about how best to work together and support one another to save lives.”
Following the movie, a panel discussion will take place moderated by Clinton Boothby, local board chair. The panel will include: Deborah Burchfield, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, Franklin Memorial Hospital IMAT provider; Edward Hastings, sergeant, Farmington Police Department; Ashley McCarthy, program and planning coordinator, Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County; and two patients in recovery.
“Documentary film screenings can be a powerful tool for building communities and creating a forum for public dialogue,” says Ben Fowlie, executive director of the Points North Institute. “We’re thrilled to work with MaineHealth to launch a series that directly confronts the opiate crisis, a critical issue that impact all Mainers.”
Those interested in attending the April 18 event are asked to RSVP online in advance at bit.ly/RecoveryInMaine (case sensitive). The auditorium is located between Ricker and Preble Halls on High Street in Farmington. Light refreshments will be available.
About the MaineHealth hub-and-spoke IMAT program
The Integrated Medication-Assisted Treatment (IMAT) program is an effort that ensures patients get the care they need, from anywhere in the MaineHealth system. The program leverages the resources of Maine Behavioral Healthcare and MaineHealth organizations, and it is designed so that all patients get the best quality of care, at the level they need, and at a location as close to home as possible. Patients who need intensive services will get care by providers with special addiction training until they are more stable. More stable and healthy patients can get their IMAT treatment at primary care offices by health care providers and behavioral health clinicians. If a patient’s condition worsens, they can switch back to intensive care for more help until they become more stable and ready to return to receiving care at a primary care office. Learn more here.