AUGUSTA – An advocacy group says Maine must reduce deaths by suicide while improving mental health care.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness in Maine said Wednesday it interviewed over 250 individuals in Maine for its list of recommendations, which include more services to prevent substance use disorder.

The group says the number of child and adolescent psychiatrists in Maine is at a crisis level. Maine also lags behind New Hampshire and Vermont for the rate of self-help groups aimed at helping individuals manage mental health diagnoses.

It also called for more mental health liaisons at law enforcement agencies, and more alternatives to prevent individuals from ending up in jail instead of treatment.

The group says Maine must adequately reimburse mental health providers, and ensure more individuals with mental illness are employed.

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