Behavioral health providers offer free services in wake of Maine shooting

Behavioral health providers are offering resources to Maine residents affected by a mass shooting that claimed the lives of 18 people. 

A gunman opened fire at a bowling alley and restaurant in Lewiston, Maine, on Oct. 25. The suspect was found dead on Oct. 27, according to The New York Times. 

Maine Gov. Janet Mills opened an online portal to allow organizations in the state to request individualized mental health support, such as on-site mental health clinics, according to a Nov. 1 news release. 

"Mental health counseling and other behavioral health resources are available to community leaders from across Maine, from school principals to business owners to nonprofit directors, to help your networks navigate this difficult time," Ms. Mills said. "I encourage any organizations who are in need to take advantage of this new resource." 

Included Health, a virtual healthcare provider, is providing virtual therapy and psychiatry services to Maine residents at no charge through Nov. 25, the company said in an Oct. 26 news release. 

The San Francisco-based company's East Coast headquarters are in Lewiston.

"While we are thankful that no employees have been physically injured, as this tragedy unfolds, we are compelled to support the community in the most impactful way we can, by offering mental health services to those in and across the state of Maine," Included Health CEO Owen Tripp said in a news release. 

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and Carelon Behavioral Health, Elevance Health's behavioral health services arm, opened a free mental health crisis line for all Maine residents, regardless of whether they are Anthem members. The line is available 24/7, according to an Oct. 26 news release. 

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services urged anyone affected by the violence in Lewiston to access behavioral health services, including calling or texting the national suicide and crisis hotline for immediate support. 

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