The Maine Association for Psychiatric Physicians (MAPP) both initiates and actively supports efforts to improve mental health care in Maine, and manages several ongoing community efforts. Currently MAPP is involved in two formal grant-supported community projects, as well as contributing to other community projects and resources, and the interests and voluntary contributions of its members support still other community projects and resources.
Maine is a predominantly rural state, with a population of 1.2 million. The majority of the state’s 300 psychiatrists are geographically concentrated in the lower quarter of the state, leaving family practitioners and other primary care providers throughout the state without ready access to psychiatric consultation. The Maine Association of Psychiatric Physicians has addressed this problem with an innovative program called The Consultation Project. Funded through a contract with DHHS, this program links volunteer psychiatrists with primary care practices throughout the state.
The Postpartum Depression (PPD) Project was developed with the support of a grant from the American Psychiatric Association in recognition of the frequency, under diagnosis and under treatment of postpartum depression and the long term serious adverse effects of untreated maternal depression on women and their children. Postpartum depression is the most common complication of childbirth and affects approximately 15% of mothers. The focus of the PPD Project is to provide training programs across medical and mental health specialties and easy access to educational materials to aid in the screening, assessment, and treatment of women who experience depression during pregnancy or the postpartum period. The PPD project also produces a newsletter which is available on this website.
MAPP also supports a number of community discussion forums (listservs), several of which are available as well to medical and mental health professionals outside of MAPP, including non-member psychiatrists, psychiatric APRNs and PAs, and in one case also to primary care physicians, APRNs and PAs with an interest in mental health or prescribing psychotropic medications. A list of those that are open to the community and you may join can be found here.
MAPP is a supporter of and a program partner in the Safe Medicine Disposal for ME program, which provides Maine's residents with a safe disposal option for unused and unwanted medicine. Free medicine mailback envelopes are available at participating sites.
NAMI-Maine provides advocacy and support for individuals and families struggling with mental illness. It has also provided training to police and correctional officers across the state to help them manage interactions with people with mental illness in as humane and non-violent manner as possible. Its programs reach individuals, family members, mental health professionals and law enforcement. It is also an extremely effective advocate, both to the legislature and the public at large. MAPP and NAMI-Maine recognize the overlapping missions and goals of the organizations by having two MAPP members serve on the NAMI-Maine Board, Drs. David Moltz and Janis Petzel.
MAPP members also support NAMI-Maine's biggest fund-raising event, the annually held NAMI Walk, part of NAMI Walks nationwide. This year's annual NAMI Walks is being held on Saturday, May 12. You can support MAPP's NAMI Walk team here.
Dr. Anne Hallward has had an interest in creating space for open conversation about difficult subjects that began in her teens, when she noticed that very few adults seemed to be talking about intimate or difficult subjects. These interests continued through her professional development. Training and then teaching at Harvard before moving to Maine, she taught classes on Death and Dying, Human Sexuality, Psychiatric Interviewing, Psychotherapy and Cultural Competence. The one thing these classes all have in common is that they address subjects that people avoid talking about. She approaches these tender subjects respectfully, in a way that gives acknowledgment and recognition to feelings and fears that have been carried in silence. Since arrivng in Maine, these interests with the collaboration of others, led to the birth of Safe Space Radio, supported and hosted by WMPG Greater Portland Maine Community Radio, 90.9 and 104.1 FM.
Dr. Benjamin Crocker has had a long standing interest in helping provi
ders and patients alike navigate the confusing maze of Medicare D plans available to patients who are dual eligible for both Medicare D and Medicaid. To that end, each year since 2005 he has created a freely available spreadsheet, available here along with additional information, to help people make the most advantageous choice of Medicare D plans for dual-eligible patients, by showing providers and patients alike the comparative Utilization Management restrictions for the Medicare D plans that are cheap enough to be fully subsidized by Medicaid and other full subsidies, to allow planning to avoid having to appeal Medicare denials or at least to be prepared for them, and to demonstrate year to year how those restrictions change. Generally, if the patient is interested in why they may have been assigned by the state to a plan that has very skimpy benefits, discussing their federal right to switch to a richer plan can be a way of educating people about the differences between Medicare and Medicaid, and the fact that state and federal policies may have conflicting effects, but that in general Federal benefits trump state policies, if people know about them.
The MAPP site has had page visits since 2/3/12