Sweetser to close mental health center in Brunswick | News

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Sweetser to close mental health center in Brunswick
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BRUNSWICK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- An alternative mental health facility that helps nearly 1000 clients a year is shutting down next month.

Sweetser says without more help from the state it can no longer continue funding the Learning and Recovery Center.

Sweetser runs the center with funding help from the state. While that state funding has remained flat,Sweetser's costs have risen significantly. With no additional money coming from the state the center is being shut down.

Kelli Magaw used to be a client, now she's a volunteer.
That's what this place is all about. People who have dealt with their own mental health issues, helping people now looking for help with theirs.

"I have this place to thank, I have a ton of people to thank. It's this place it's like if it hadn't existed I don't know where I would've gone", said Magaw.

The director says studies show results are much better when peer to peer support is added to traditional treatment.
With cuts to state mental health programs over the years, there's been a call for more community based programs like this.

"This is one of those and I don't know what to say. It's foolish to think that they shouldn't continue this", said Sweetser's Ron Welch.

The Department of Health and Human Services claims the center has not spent 40-thousand dollars in state funds still at its disposal and can not justify approving more money for the program. Sweetser officials say those funds have been budgeted for the rest of the fiscal year and even with those funds it will spend about 50-thousand dollars more than the original agreement called for.


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