Seeds for dramatic changes in healthcare began in the early 1950s, when Catholic priest Father Cossette established the Catholic Bureau of Social Services in Lewiston. Set up in response to the overwhelming needs of families, the Catholic Bureau of Social Services offered counseling and other social services, including adoption.
In the late 1950s, when their non-counseling services were absorbed by other area agencies, the Catholic Bureau of Social Services merged with Androscoggin Mental Health Services, a state-operated agency, to become Child and Family Services. In 1963, Child and Family Health Services became the first recipient in Maine of federal funds from the Community Mental Health Act. Hailed as a breakthrough in community mental health, individuals in Maine with emotional challenges and mental illnesses could access treatment and care in their own communities instead of being hospitalized in institutions.
In 1972, Child and Family Health Services, Franklin Area Mental Health Clinic, and Oxford County Mental Health Services joined forces to become what today is Tri-County Mental Health Services (TCMHS.) This merger expanded the mental health services available to individuals in three counties and, soon after, resulted in the addition of substance-use disorder services. A merger with Western Maine Counseling in 1993 expanded Tri-County’s network to include northern Cumberland County.
Today, more than 70 years later, and with a professional and dedicated staff of more than 250, Tri-County provides services across a seven county service area.Learn more about TCMHS by visiting our website.