A Message of Community Support from the Brunswick, Bath, and Topsham Police Departments and Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office
Brunswick’s loss of a young person to suicide late last week has been felt across our region. During a year which has already placed a great deal of stress on individuals and families across the country, increased levels of anxiety and depression are apparent. As we enter the winter months, please keep conversations open with the people in your life, particularly youth.
When a community loses someone to suicide, there is often a rush of emotion and questions. Why did this happen? Could this have been prevented? Rather than trying to answer questions which have no clear answers, make prevention your focus: create support structures for your loved ones, and learn how to have an open and honest dialog about this difficult topic.
When you speak with your children, ask them how they are really feeling. You don’t need to have a response or an answer to everything they say; sometimes listening openly is enough. In the words of Jamie Dorr, Executive Director of the Midcoast Youth Center, “Youth need to know they are not marginalized; that they are important, that they matter and how they are feeling matters. Talk with young people in your life in a caring, non-judgmental way; ask them how they are doing.”
Help them realize that the struggles they are facing will not last forever; there is help, and there is hope. Be aware of warning signs, like substance use, noticeable changes in eating or sleeping habits, withdrawal from family or friends, or doing worse in school. If you are concerned about the safety of your child, connect them with immediate help by calling or texting the Maine Crisis Hotline 1-888-568-1112, take them to the local emergency room, contact their on-call pediatrician, or connect with your local School Resource Officer.
Our School Resource Officers are also available to offer help and support for your child:
Bath SRO: Chuck Reece (Morse High School)
Brunswick SRO: Chris Balestra (Brunswick High School) and Kerry Wolongevicz (Brunswick Junior High School)
Topsham SRO: Gabrielle Mathieu (Mount Ararat High School)
We at the Bath, Brunswick, Topsham Police Departments and Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office extend our support to the Brunswick community, and to any family affected by suicide. We will continue to spread education and awareness about mental health and suicide prevention. Let’s work together to strengthen our communities.
Brunswick Police Chief
|Michael W. Field
Bath Police Chief
|Marc R. Hagan
Topsham Police Chief
|Joel A. Merry
Sagadahoc County Sheriff
Midcoast Youth Center
Midcoast Youth Center, located at the former Bath Youth Meetinghouse & Skatepark, provides a diverse array of programs and services designed to improve the lives of youth and prevent youth suicide in Sagadahoc County, Brunswick, and Harpswell.
G.E.A.R. Parent Network
Through parent-to-parent sharing of experiences and knowledge, G.E.A.R. Parent Network empowers parents of children with behavioral health needs to build on their family’s strengths and to advocate for their family’s needs.
Support by phone at 1-800-264-9224
For teens struggling with mental illness or substance use, Day One provides the most complete continuum of youth and family-based services in the State of Maine. The MISSION of Day One is to improve the health of Maine by providing substance use, mental health and wellness services to youth and families.
NAMI Maine Teen Text Support Line
Teens can talk about their feelings and get support from another young person by texting (207) 515 – 8398. This is available every day from 12pm – 10pm. This peer support text line is for youth 14-20 years old and staffed by individuals under 23 years of age. Learn more about NAMI Maine.
Families CAN! (Midcoast Maine Community Action)
Families CAN! uses evidence-based programs, providing enrichment opportunities to parents, caregivers and educators about topics affecting families with children from birth through the teen years.
FrontLine WarmLine (for school staff/teachers)
A new volunteer phone support service, the FrontLine WarmLine, helps Maine health care workers and first responders manage the stress of serving on the front lines of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The FrontLine WarmLine is available 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week by calling (207) 221-8196 or 866-367-4440. Text capability will be added soon.
These are just a few of the many resources available in our communities. To be connected with more resources, dial 211 on your phone, text your ZIP code to 898-211, or visit 211maine.org.