The proposal is being brought forward by the Maine Health Working Group which consists of a bipartisan group of Maine legislators as well as law enforcement officials, mental health professionals and a consumer of mental health services.

According to the KJ, the group is expected to recommend building at least four regional centers for mental health crisis intervention. They will call for these centers to be properly staffed with peer councilors and mental health professionals. The idea wouldn't be for long-term care at these centers, but as a facility to help people facing acute mental health emergencies.

According to the article about 115,000 Mainers suffer from some sort of mental health issue. The breaks down to about 1 out of every 10 Mainers. Maine's shortage of adequate mental health facilities has become a focal point for legislators in Maine this year.

Even places like Riverview in Augusta isn't big enough to handle the demand of our local Augusta region. They have 92 beds and there is still a waiting list to get in for services. Last year, lawmakers did approve adding an additional 45 beds and extra staff to the Augusta facility, though the KJ says it could be half a decade before those beds are ready.

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