FREE e-scribe now!

This week’s edition!

LYAC Holds Mental Health Awareness Conversation

LEWISTON, ME (November 22 2022) — Lewiston community members and mental health professionals will have an opportunity to discuss mental health challenges on December 8. A Be Kind To Your Mind mental health forum, hosted by the Lewiston Youth Advisory Council (LYAC), will be held at Connors Elementary School, 400 Bartlett Street, starting at 6 p.m. The forum is free to attend.

“The youth council believes that creating this open conversation will give everyone the opportunity to be involved and be heard,” said Elissa Nadeau, LYAC Chair. “You’re not alone, even if you tell yourself you are,” said LYAC member Asli Osman. In September, the youth council decided that their next project would focus on mental health awareness, expressing concern about peers and community members they’ve observed emotionally hurting.

“The fact that youth council members are stepping up to make positive connections regarding mental health awareness is huge. Not only are they in tune with community needs, but they are taking action. Their example is something that we can all learn from and emulate,” said Mayor Carl L. Sheline.

“I cried today and nobody knew,” was a statement that LYAC member Feysal Abdirahman recently heard an individual say that really impacted him.

“You don’t have to struggle in silence,” said LYAC member Destiney Graham. “The importance of mental health for students has a direct impact on how our kids take in new information, understand new concepts and master new skills. When our kids are struggling with depression, anxiety or mental health issues, it is almost impossible to achieve goals and navigate the challenges of everyday school life. We as adults and parents should always have the mental health of our kids as a priority, and when our own youth take the lead on this subject, we should support them in any way that we can,” said Linda Scott, City Councilor/School Committee member.

Councilor Scott is also the liaison between the City Council and the Lewiston Youth Advisory Council. Speakers at the forum lined up so far are: Colin O’Neill, Tri-County Mental Health Services Chief Clinical Officer; Amran Osman, Executive Director/Founder of Generational Noor; Lisa Escobar, Lewiston Public Schools Substance Use Coordinator/Licensed Counselor; Megan Parks, Licensed Social Worker/Substance Use Counselor/Clinical Supervisor; Lewiston Police Detective Joe Philippon; and LYAC Vice-Chair Ava Golder.

Also at the forum will be mental health resources, a Q & A period, related artwork, and wall-size post-its, providing an opportunity for attendees to share feelings when entering and exiting the forum (not required).

LYAC has also acquired a list of mental health resources that are available online at and through a QR Code. They have also established a lengthy list of positive affirmations that Lewiston School Superintendent Jake Langlais has been daily tweeting.

Ava Golder, LYAC Vice-Chair, has also filmed a social media video sharing her thoughts about mental health challenges.

“Building awareness about mental health concerns is clearly very important to the current LYAC membership. It’s impressive to observe them brainstorm about community outreach and express genuine concern about fellow community members. They want their Be Kind To Your Mind forum to provide encouragement and hope to others,” noted Dottie Perham-Whittier, Community Relations Coordinator/LYAC Advisor.

Hope is definitely on the mind of LYAC member Ahmed Hussein who quotes Confucius, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

Leave a Reply

Contact Us!

89 Union Street, Suite 1014
Auburn, ME 04210
(207) 795-5017