Our hearts go out to all affected by the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine. To neighbors and friends and citizens of Maine, please reach out for support and connection.
Here are resources that may be helpful to you and members of your community.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, there are many helplines available to call or text
If you are feeling like it is hard to cope, you are not alone. There are people to reach out to. When stress builds high enough that you are suffering, asking for help can ease the load. No one should have to suffer alone.
- If you need urgent medical attention: call 9-1-1
- Maine Statewide Crisis and Suicide Prevention Hotline: Available 24/7. 1.888.568.1112. For TTY Users: dial 7-1-1 then 1.888.568.1112
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Available 24/7. Call 988 for service in English and Español. For TTY Users: Use your preferred relay service or dial 7-1-1 then 9-8-8. Please note that the previous NSPL number will remain available for anyone in emotional distress, even with the transition to 988.
- FarmAid Crisis Support – Crisis support hot line for farmers available Monday-Friday, 9 am – 10 pm, ET. Available in English and Español 1.800.FARM.AID or 1.800.327.6243.
- Wabanaki Care Line: Available 24/7. 1.844.844.2622. Culturally competent support for Wabanaki community members living on and off reservations. Statewide.
- MaineTrans.Net: 1-877-565-8860. Trans-competent support for crisis, 24/7. All calls answered by transgender identified volunteers. Available in English and Español.
- If you are seeking support for substance use, please call the SAMHSA National Helpline: 1.800.662.HELP (4357) for 24/7 treatment referral and information service in English and Español.
- LGBTQ+ and/or under 24 years of age. 1-866-488-7386. The Trevor Lifeline, phone or text and online chat function.
- Crisis Text Line: Available 24/7. Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor. Envía un mensaje de texto con la palabra AYUDA al 741741 para comunicarte de manera gratuita con un Consejero de Crisis.
- StrengthenME – Available every day 8 am – 8 pm. Mental Health Hotline and Stress Assistance. Call 207.221.8198.
- Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, Press 1 (website also has a chat option). Connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many of them are Veterans themselves.
Individuals often have different ways of coping with daily and long-term stress. As professionals in our field, farmers – of land, forest, or sea – rely heavily on our bodies and minds to get through the many daily, seasonal, and yearly demands of the work. As a result, it is even more important to take care of ourselves mentally and physically.
Local to Maine, open to anyone:
- The Intentional Warm Line offers telephone support during challenging times and non-crisis situations. 24/7 from anywhere in Maine. 1.866.771.WARM (9276)
- Call 2-1-1 or visit 211.maine.org to locate a Maine counselor or resource near you.
- The NAMI Helpline is a safe and confidential mental health service for peers, law enforcement, professionals, friends, and family members. It provides support, education and advocacy for anyone with questions about mental health concerns. NAMI Maine Helpline is available M-F, 8-4 pm at 1.800.464.5767 (Press 1) For more information visit: namimaine.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Supports for food producers:
- Maine Mobile Health offers mental health counseling and referral for farmers and farm workers and offers services in English, Spanish or Haitian Creole. You have to be registered with the Maine Mobile Health network. Call 1.888.351.9634, or email email@example.com
- Farm Coaching from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension: Discuss planning, stress, and decision making. Visit the Farm Coaching: Supporting Relationships for Farm Success page to complete and submit a request.
- The Maine Agricultural Mediation Program can talk with you about priorities, goals, and decision-making as you navigate changes in the future of the farm, immediate markets, and relationships with lenders. Contact 207.581.3487, email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the form on the Request Mediation page.
For Indigenous communities:
- Wabanaki Public Health and Wellness serves four federally recognized tribes located in five communities: the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, the Aroostook Band of Micmacs, the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township, the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point, and the Penobscot Nation. Services are available to community members living on and off-reservation across the state of Maine. Contact 207.992.0411.
- Eastern Woodlands Rematriation is a collective of Indigenous people restoring the spiritual foundation of our livelihoods through regenerative food systems. Email email@example.com
Reaching out to a family member, a friend or even a community partner or organization can help curb stress accumulation. Visit the resilience resources page to learn more about what Wellness Support is available for you.
Adapted from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry Site.
Communicating the following:
- Thoughts of suicide and having no reason to live
- Feelings of hopelessness or being trapped
- Being a burden on others
- Unbearable pain
Displaying these moods:
- Depression, loss of interest
- Anger, rage, irritation
- Extreme mood changes including uncontrollable highs and lows
Exhibiting these behaviors:
- A decline in care of crops, animals, or farm
- A decline in care of tending the woodlot, or forestry business
- Increase in farm and forestry-related accidents
- Loss of farm and forest production
- Searching for resources and means online for ending one’s life
- Increased drug or alcohol use
- Withdrawing from activities once enjoyed and isolating from family and friends
- Exhibiting signs of aggression, fatigue, and excessive worrying or fear
- Too much or too little sleep
- Making final arrangements and saying goodbyes
- Poor hygiene
- Forgetfulness, inability to concentrate, or make decisions
Adapted from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. For more information, visit their website.
Are you struggling?
- Please don’t wait for someone to reach out
- Seek mental health treatment, or tell your clinician about your suicidal thinking.
- Treat yourself like you would treat someone else who needs your help.
Can you help someone?
Have an honest conversation
- Talk in private
- Listen to their story
- Tell them you care about them
- Ask directly if they are thinking about suicide
- Encourage them to seek treatment or contact their doctor or therapist
- Avoid debating the value of life, minimizing their problems or giving advice
Assume you’re the only one who will reach out
If a person says they are thinking about suicide:
- Take the person seriously
- Someone considering suicide is experiencing a life-threatening health crisis and may not believe they can be helped. Work with them to keep them safely away from lethal means like firearms and drugs and remind them that their suffering is temporary.
- Stay with them and call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).Take the person seriously
- Stay with them
- Help them remove lethal means
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
- Text TALK to 741741 to text with a trained crisis counselor from the Crisis Text Line for free, 24/7
- Escort them to mental health services or an emergency room
- Be sure to follow up with them after the crisis to see how they’re doing
- Identifying Signs of Stress Fact Sheet (PDF) – NY FarmNet, How to identify farm family stress and how to offer your support.
- Mental Health and the Impact on Wellness For Farm Families (PDF) – AgriSafe
- Salud Mental y el Impacto en el Bienestar de las Familias de Agricultores (PDF) – AgriSafe, Spanish version
- Rural Response to Farmer Mental Health & Suicide Prevention – Rural Health Information Hub’s guide for farmer mental health. Includes topics such as understanding mental health concerns, programs to address mental health, community health program toolkits, and key organizations.
- Recognizing the Signs of Farm Family Stress – Maine Family Farms: Life and Business in Balance. Adapted by Extension Human Development Specialist Leslie Forstadt and Extension Professor Tori Jackson, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
- Stress, Resilience, and Resources: Responding to the Impacts of Covid-19 on Farms. On May 20, 2020, Extension Professor, Leslie Forstadt. Ph.D., presented information about stress, building resilience, and available resources to meet farmers’ needs.
- Agricultural Producers & Stress — When Do You Need a Counselor? By Randy Weigel, University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service.
- Farm and Ranch Family Stress and Depression: A Checklist and Guide for Making Referrals. By Robert J. Fetsch, Colorado State University and Roger T. Williams, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
- The Personal Nature of Agriculture: Men Seeking Help By Randy Weigel, University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service. Explores how men’s upbringing makes seeking help a challenge, the social and family barriers to seeking help and the characteristics of helping professionals who work well with men reluctant to seek help, and what men can do to help themselves.
- After an Attempt – A Guide for Taking Care of Your Family Member After Treatment in the Emergency Room.
- Agricultural Producers & Stress: When Do You Need a Counselor? (PDF) from the University of Wyoming, by Randy R. Weigel, Extension Specialist and Hattie Penny, Editor, Cooperative Extension Service.