Audible Screening Sparks Insightful Community Conversation

Last fall Maine Behavioral Healthcare (MBH) provided a free screening of Audible, a Netflix documentary. The film shares the inspirational story of Deaf football player Amaree McKenstry-Hall, during his last year at Maryland School For the Deaf as he and his friends grapple with the death by suicide of a close friend.

Kristine Gile, Deaf Services Program Manager, Interim Clinic Director

More than 75 people viewed the award-winning 38-minute film at the Portland Museum of Art and stayed to hear from a panel of experts who shared their insights after the screening. Panelists fielded audience questions and comments on Deaf culture, suicide, family support, vocational planning, LGBTQIA+ issues, and behavioral health.

These are heavy topics to cover but that did not phase Kristine Gile, Maine Behavioral Healthcare (MBH) deaf services program manager and interim clinic director at the Lancaster location.

Gile organized the event and served as panel moderator with grace and compassion to break down barriers and foster communication.

“The film is an ideal conversation starter for many issues of our time that are made even more difficult to navigate for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing community. This event is important because it provides an opportunity for us to share information and resources that are not always available or accessible to this population,” says Gile.

MBH provides behavioral health and case management services for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing people of all ages. Gile and her team of licensed Deaf services clinicians understand the unique challenges of our patients and their families. They are skilled in American Sign Language (ASL), spoken English, Signed Exact English (SEE), Visual Gesturing (VG) and are familiar with Deaf culture. MBH is the only Deaf behavioral health service provider contracted with the state of Maine.

This event is just one shining example of our care team’s commitment to providing critical education and resources for families, health care professionals and the community.

The topics covered impact every community because behavioral health and well-being is a universal human experience.

Kristine Gile (far right, seated) leads the panel discussion with panelists, L-R: Terry Morrell, LCSW, Director, Division for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Late Deafened with the state of Maine; Maria “Mars” Hammond, MHRT/C, MA, MBH Case Manager; Darlene Freeman, Treasurer, Maine Hands & Voices; Tia Nielsen, Medical Assistant, The Gender Clinic at Maine Medical Center; Danielle Loring, Director Intensive Services at MBH

Here is what some audience members had to say about the evening:

“As someone who has learning disabilities and has worked in special education for years, I found the event to be wonderfully accessible, and I took away so much in terms of how to continue further increasing accessibility.”

“This topic needed to be discussed. We need to continue this discussion because the community needs to hear it.”

“This topic was very relatable. It is not just a barrier for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities, but it is one that many communities struggle to talk about. I could relate to this, and I left thinking about my own life and family. I want to do more.”