Mills Administration Announces Landmark Agreement that Charts Path Toward Ending Three-Decades Long AMHI Consent Decree
Augusta, ME (STL.News) The Mills Administration today announced a new landmark agreement that charts a path toward ending the Augusta Mental Health Institute (AMHI) Consent Decree. For more than three decades, the Consent Decree has required the State to build and maintain a comprehensive mental health system that meets the needs of Maine people due to historic failures to do so.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS); Office of the Maine Attorney General; counsel for the Consent Decree plaintiffs, Disability Rights Maine; and Court Master Daniel Wathen have agreed to a set of evidence-based, measurable performance standards that support timely access to mental health care, protect client rights, and establish compliance requirements that, if met, could potentially end the Consent Decree within two years.
The agreement also includes expansion of advocacy through Disability Rights Maine, protection of funding for the Consumer Council System of Maine, and designated resources within the DHHS Office of Behavioral Health to assist clients facing challenges accessing services.
The Consent Decree is the result of a 1990 class action lawsuit brought on behalf of residents of the former AMHI following the deaths of 10 hospital residents.