The CCSM Staff is back in the office but we are temporarily closed for public visits! We are still fully operational and can be reach by calling our regular office number: 430-8300 or 1-877-207-5073.

Alert! Learn more about CCSM's response to COVID-19.

New, Proposed Foodstamp (SNAP) Rule….


Could you be at risk of losing your Food Stamps (SNAP/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance)?


The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has proposed new rules that would cause some households to lose their Food Stamps. There is a public hearing on the proposed rules on:


 October 6, 2015, 1:00 p.m. 

19 Union Street, Augusta 

Conference Room 110


Here’s what the proposed rules would do:


Households without children, including seniors and people with disabilities, could lose their food stamp (SNAP) benefits if they have certain assets worth $5,000 or more. Your home and one vehicle would not count toward the new proposed asset limit. 


If you have a savings or checking account with $5,000 or more or have some other asset like a second car or boat you could be at risk of losing your Food Stamps.


These are examples of assets that would count towards the $5,000 limit: 

  • Cash, checking and saving accounts, Christmas club accounts, stock and bonds
  • Lump sum payments (insurance or law settlements)
  • Certificates of Deposits (C.D.’s), etc.
  • Certain personal property including a second vehicle
  • A small woodlot that you harvest for heat        
  • Recreational vehicles including boats, ATVs and snowmobiles, and other vehicles – even if you use them routinely to help you get around

Maine already has the third highest rate of hunger in the nation- this will make it worse. 


Please help us stop these rules from taking effect. 


Come to the public hearing on October 6th!

1:00 p.m. 

19 Union Street, Augusta

Conference Room 110

Call or email us if you can be there!


Call Ann at Maine Equal Justice Partners at 1-866-626-7059, ext. 210 or email her @ [email protected] as soon as possible, to let us know how these changes impact you, your neighbors and your community.


Proposed rules can be found at:

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Webinar Opportunity on Evaluation of Peer Programs

We Are the Evidence: Evaluation of Peer Programs

Date and Time: Wed, Aug 5, 2015 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM EDT

The National Empowerment Center will present a webinar that will stress the importance of good evaluation of peer programs, offer helpful tips, and use peer respites as a case study.

This webinar includes Jean Campbell, who helped establish Consumer-Operated Service Programs (COSPs) as evidence-based practices, Laysha Ostrow of Live and Learn, and Bevin Croft of Human Services Research Institute (HSRI).


To register, go to:

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Action Alert- We Urge you to Oppose HR 2646- “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act” of 2015

The CCSM is seeking your support in urging our Senators and Congressmen not to co-sponsor Rep. Murphy’s bill! 

Please see information below about the “Helping Familes in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015- HR 2646….

From the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery:



On June 4th, 2015, Representative Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania re-introduced the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, also known as H.R. 2646. The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery opposes this bill because it includes many harmful provisions that will set back community mental health care and undermine much of what our movement has worked so hard to achieve.


H.R. 2646, will:

·  Increase the use of forced treatment and hospitalization at the expense of voluntary, pro-active, community mental health services and supports.

·  Divert millions of Medicaid dollars from community services and supports to increase hospitalization.

·  Deny mental health block grants to states without involuntary outpatient commitment laws.

·  Prescribe the qualifications for certified peer support specialists in law, an unprecedented step that will ossify our discipline.

·  Eliminate the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. SAMHSA has promoted and funded major innovations such as peer support, recovery, wellness, trauma-informed care, state consumer and family networks and Alternatives.

·  Drastically cut grants that fund critical mental health services, substance abuse prevention and substance abuse treatment across the Nation.

·  Eliminate many innovative mental health services grants, put doctors in control of grant review and exclude knowledgeable people with lived experience from grant review and oversight.

·  Give Congress unprecedented control over all competitive grant awards.

·  Amend HIPAA to erode privacy rights for people with a mental health diagnosis; what is needed instead is better education on how HIPAA works.

·  Eliminate all protection and advocacy agency programs that protect our civil rights in housing, employment, education and other areas.


Please tell your member of Congress that you oppose H.R. 2646 (include your most important reason) and ask them not to support this bill.



Click on your state name below to contact your represenatives:
[Alabama], [Alaska], [American Samoa], [Arizona], [Arkansas], [California], [Colorado], [Connecticut], [Delaware], [District of Columbia], [Florida], [Georgia], [Guam], [Hawaii], [Idaho], [Illinois], [Indiana], [Iowa], [Kansas], [Kentucky], [Louisiana], [Maine], [Maryland], [Massachusetts], [Michigan], [Minnesota], [Mississippi], [Missouri], [Montana], [Nebraska], [Nevada], [New Hampshire], [New Jersey], [New Mexico], [New York], [North Carolina], [North Dakota], [Northern Mariana Islands], [Ohio], [Oklahoma], [Oregon], [Pennsylvania], [Puerto Rico], [Rhode Island], [South Carolina], [South Dakota], [Tennessee], [Texas], [Utah], [Vermont], [Virginia], [Virgin Islands], [Washington], [West Virginia], [Wisconsin], [Wyoming]


View a video of a Hearing on the Murphy Bill held on June 16, 2015 titled “Examining HR-2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis”


Related articles:

·  Regarding Representative Tim Murphy’s Helping Families In Mental Health Crisis Act

·  The Murphy Bill: A threat to justice everywhere

·  Mental Health Advocates Oppose Rep. Tim Murphy’s Bill for Promoting Forced “Treatment” over More Effective and Less Expensive Voluntary Care

·  The “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015” Represents Wrong Policy Direction

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2015 Empowerment Forum for People with Disabilities

3rd Annual Empowerment Forum for People with Disabilities

Will be held on 8/13 8:30-3:00 at T& B Celebration Center in Waterville. Speakers include the Commissioner of the United States Rehabilitation Services Administration, Janet LaBreck and the Honorable Governor Paul R. LePage.

The day will include a panel of individuals who have successfully navigated the sometimes difficult system of services and an opportunity for participants to provide input and feedback on those services. The event is free for people with disabilities and includes lunch. To learn more about the event or to register, please visit or call Jenn Ardito at 377-7055. Registration is required. Requests for accommodations must be made by 7/27/15. Requests made after that date cannot be guaranteed, however, every effort will be made to honor the request. 


The Empowerment Forum is hosted by the Five Council Collaborative, which is made of the following councils: the Statewide Independent Living Council, State Rehabilitation Council for Vocational Rehabilitation, the State Rehabilitation Council for the Division of the Blind & Visually Impaired, the Commission for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing & Late Deafened, and the State Workforce Investment Board’s Commission on Disability & Employment.

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We cordially invite you….

Statewide Consumer Council

Annual Meeting & Awards Ceremony

Activities to include:

· Public Comment for Input on Current Issues/Concerns

· Guest Speaker– Pat LaMarche

· Awards Ceremony

· Ticket Auction

· Lunch Provided for everyone


When:  January 23, 2015

Time:  10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Location: Elks Lodge

 397 Civic Center Drive

 Augusta, ME 


$5 for peers/consumers

$50 for providers/general public


The price of your ticket goes to support our annual meeting

and future work of the CCSM


If you need financial assistance to attend, please

call the CCSM office!

Please RSVP before Jan. 8, 2015 by calling the CCSM

office: 430-8300 or 1-877-207-5073

~Mileage reimbursement for consumers/peers~


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