Hope and Healing Forum and Gathering of Maine Tribal Nations
From L to R: Heather Putnam - U.S. Attorney's Office, Morayo Akande - New England ATTC, Scott Gagnon - New England PTTC, Maria Restrepo-Toro - New England MH TTC, Kimberly Nelson - SAMHSA Regional Administrator, HHS Region 1
The United States Attorney's Office in the District of Maine held a Hope and Healing forum on May 22nd. The forum was on trauma informed best practices when working with victims of crime. U.S. Attorney Halsey B. Frank and the Victim Witness Coordinator for his office, Heather Putnam, invited SAMHSA Regional Administrator Kimberly Nelson to provide the keynote presentation. Also invited to present were the three Technology Transfer Centers serving the New England Region. Representatives from the New England ATTC, MH TTC, and PTTC were present to provide overviews of each of the centers and the resources available specifically to trauma, and trauma-informed practices. Director, Scott M. Gagnon represented the New England Prevention Technology Transfer Center at this forum.
SAMHSA and the U.S. Attorney's Office also conducted outreach to coordinate a meeting of the tribal nations within Maine. Penobscot Nation hosted this meeting on May 21st. The meeting included Chiefs, advocates, and behavioral health professionals from all of Maine's tribal nations. Kimberly Nelson and the TTC representatives engaged in a great dialogue and learned about the some great and innovative initiatives in the tribal nations with respect to addressing behavioral health. Additional meetings were held with Maine's Commissioner of Health and Human Services and the leadership at the Maine Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services. Maine's efforts to address the opioid crisis were among the top issues discussed.
"It was a great experience and we were very grateful to be invited by the SAMHSA Regional Administrator to attend these meetings.", said New England PTTC Director Scott Gagnon. "We definitely learned a lot from the advocates and participants in these meetings. While we were there to share resources to address gaps and needs, we came away inspired with the determination and innovation in motion in these communities. These meetings were also a great opportunity for the three New England Technology Transfer Centers to collaborate. We have great TTC teams here in New England and we look forward to more opportunities like these. It was a very inspiring week!"