April 07, 2020

Mental health awareness fair set for Bangor

BANGOR – A mental health fair set for next week at the Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center should help the public and regional agencies “build community and take action” to raise awareness about mental illness, according to a center official.

About 20 hospitals and clinics, mostly from the Bangor area and some from Washington County, that deal with mentally ill patients are expected to take part.

The fair is the largest of its type to be held in the area, and more agencies are expected to participate, Mary Louise McEwen, DDPC superintendent, said Monday.

The public is encouraged to attend and gain knowledge about mental illnesses and the groups that treat them, she said.

“We’re all going to work together to make sure our common clients receive the best care possible,” McEwen said Monday.

The goal of the fair is to educate the public and help the participating hospitals and clinics learn from other institutions in the area, McEwen said.

She said she wanted “to get agencies to know what the others are doing,” because “others’ programs and ideas might be perfect for us to put into practice.”

The fair will run from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, at 656 State St. in the center’s recreation center.

All the participating agencies deal with mental health patients in some way, the center superintendent said.

“Each agency is going to bring materials about what they think are important services they provide,” McEwen said.

The DDPC, for example, will show displays about the health foods they serve because of the weight-gain issues associated with psychiatric medications.

The first week in October was Mental Health Awareness Week, but there were no large events to recognize it. McEwen said she began calling area clinics and hospitals and set up the mental health fair.

For more information or directions, visit the DDPC’s Web site at www.maine.gov/dhhs/bds/ddpc/home.html

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