Articles & Trainings

AUGUSTA – Health Affiliates Maine (HAM), a growing mental health and substance abuse agency based in Auburn, is opening a new clinical office in Augusta.   HAM is hosting an open house on Wednesday, November 5th from 2:00-4:00 PM at the new facility, located at 85 Stone Street in Augusta. The agency, which specializes in Medication Management, Outpatient Therapy, and Case Management, is excited to be expanding to the Augusta area.  Due to interest in their services and to meet the growing need for Medication Management, the new space has additional office space, which will allow for better access and provide a comfortable and confidential environment.

To make a referral, an appointment or for more information call 1-877-888-4304 or visit www.healthaffiliatesmaine.com

Sign Up To Receive Our Latest Blog Posts!

Learn more tips on living well and understanding mental illness. Help to end the stigma, and hear inspiring stories of recovery. Sign up here!

HAM’s Free School Trainings Get A Thumbs Up

Back to school can be both a blessing and hardship for families.  Anxiety about going back to school, financial strains, peer pressure, and changes in routine can all impact student performance.  Now more than ever it is important for educators to have an open line of communications with parents or caregivers.  Teachers, support staff and administrators must also recognize, intervene and provide guidance on a host of issues.

Cindy Mailhot, LCSW and Mary Gagnon, LMFT of Health Affiliates Maine (pictured) are regular guests at schools across the state talking with educators about a host of topics facing schools, students and staff.  These free school trainings cover relevant subjects like “Children & Social Media”, “Responding to Tragedy” and “Bullying: The Victim & the Perpetrator”.

Denise Whitehead, School Counselor at HB Emery Jr. Memorial School and Steep Falls Elementary recently shared her enthusiasm for their training, “Thank you for the wonderfully relevant presentation yesterday on Social Media and The Impact on Children.    It is a topic of high interest as we navigate through  digital space and time as educators and parents. Your ideas of “finding balance” , while keeping lines of home/school communication open were right on and were great take-aways.  Thank you again for taking the time to come out to Limington and share your expertise with us.”

If you are interested in learning more about Health Affiliate Maine’s School Based Trainings or are interested in scheduling a training, please contact Mary Gagnon, LMFT at 207-333-3278 ext. 222 or mary.gagnon@healthaffiliatesmaine.com

Sign Up To Receive Our Latest Blog Posts!

Learn more tips on living well and understanding mental illness. Help to end the stigma, and hear inspiring stories of recovery. Sign up here!

I, like many of you, have spent this week going about my daily tasks with Robin Williams and the tragedy that occurred Monday constantly in my thoughts.  I have thought about the hopelessness and the exhaustion he must have felt after struggling for more than 30 years with clinical depression and addiction.  And while suicide is never the answer, to demonize the act does no one any good.  Rather than blaming and shaming, we need to have sensitivity and empathy.  Not one of us knows what it is like to be another person.

I have also spent quite a lot of time thinking about the mission of Health Affiliates Maine, and how very true and real it is that all people struggle, at one time or another in their life, with mental health and/or substance abuse issues.  Even people who seem to have it all, like Robin Williams, can suffer.  This is because, just like cancer or other medical conditions, mental illness is a disease.  It is not anything that someone has control over.  To say to Robin Williams, “what do you have to be depressed about, you have it all?” is a clear indication that mental illness is still an enigma to most people.  Likewise, substance abuse is seen often times in the same light, where it is easier to tell someone to “just stop” not understanding how the brain has been affected, and that in fact, has a disease.

In remembrance of Robin Williams, and in tribute to him, I want to thank all of our staff and providers for the work that you do every day with people who suffer from mental illness and substance abuse.  After a couple of days of feeling frozen with sadness, I am now feeling a renewed energy about our mission and vision.  We must robustly continue our efforts in educating our families, neighborhoods, co-workers, and the general community that it is normal to experience times when we feel less mental wellness, when we feel vulnerable psychologically, and when we need the support of others, including professionals.  We all have a part in this, whether in the “field” or not, we have resources at our fingertips.  We need to accept people for their reality and offer hope through our knowledge and connections.  Let’s reduce the stigma of mental illness and substance abuse by talking about it openly, and providing education and resources.

If a loved one came to you and said they had cancer, would you ask them if they had an oncologist?  If a loved one comes to you and says they are struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues, ask them if they have a provider.  If they don’t, help them find one.

Andrea Krebs, LCSW
Executive Director
Health Affiliates Maine

Sign Up To Receive Our Latest Blog Posts!

Learn more tips on living well and understanding mental illness. Help to end the stigma, and hear inspiring stories of recovery. Sign up here!

Health Affiliates Maine Announces New Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

(Auburn/Lewiston, Maine) Health Affiliates Maine (HAM) a statewide provider of outpatient therapy, case management and medication management services have announced the hiring of Kati DeRevere, PMHNP-BC. DeRevere joins HAM’s team of Affiliates and will be practicing from her new office in Somesville on Mount Desert Island. As a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, her primary responsibility will be to provide coordinated medication management care for older adolescent and adult patients in and around the Mount Desert Island area. DeRevere will also be accepting patients interested in Tele-Psychiatry.

Currently living on Mount Desert Island, Maine, she is a graduate of University of Maine at Orono, and brings to HAM 10 years of clinical/technical experience working with patients in both agencies and hospital settings.

To make a referral, an appointment or for more information call 1-877-888-4304 or visit www.healthaffiliatesmaine.com/referral

Sign Up To Receive Our Latest Blog Posts!

Learn more tips on living well and understanding mental illness. Help to end the stigma, and hear inspiring stories of recovery. Sign up here!

Health Affiliates Maine Sponsors Local Youth In Obstacle Course

Thanks to the support of Health Affiliates Maine, 21 young people from Tree Street Youth participated in the 2014 Bands on the Run Fitness Run. For the third consecutive year, Auburn based Health Affiliates Maine took care of the entry fees for area youth to participate in the event. “Bands on the Run is a great event that supports Museum L-A.   By sponsoring area youth to participate it benefits both the area children, but also Museum L-A.,” said Andrea Krebs, Executive Director of Health Affiliates Maine. Pictured are fun run participants from Tree Street Youth, volunteers and Janet Verrill and Sadik Lag from Health Affiliates Maine.

Sign Up To Receive Our Latest Blog Posts!

Learn more tips on living well and understanding mental illness. Help to end the stigma, and hear inspiring stories of recovery. Sign up here!

HAM is thrilled to announce that they will be hosting their 3rd Annual Consortium on Friday, June 27th at the Ramada Inn in Lewiston! This is open to all providers and staff as a celebration of their hard work and dedication year-round. This is a fun-filled day including door prizes, delicious food and informative presentations. If you are a provider and are interested in registering for this event, please see the registration form located on back office. You may also contact Katie Orff at katie.orff@healthaffiliatesmaine.com or by calling the office.

Sign Up To Receive Our Latest Blog Posts!

Learn more tips on living well and understanding mental illness. Help to end the stigma, and hear inspiring stories of recovery. Sign up here!

Attention Clients:  Health Affiliates Maine has updated our Notice of Privacy Practices.  This document describes the legal obligations of Health Affiliates Maine and your legal rights related to your protected health information under HIPAA.  It also describes how your protected health information may be used in order to carry out treatment, payment, and healthcare operations.  Please click on attachment below to obtain a copy.

  • Notice of Privacy Practices – PDF | DOC

Sign Up To Receive Our Latest Blog Posts!

Learn more tips on living well and understanding mental illness. Help to end the stigma, and hear inspiring stories of recovery. Sign up here!

Feeling stressed lately?  These remedies can help! stress

  1. Get up fifteen minutes earlier in the morning.  The inevitable morning mishaps will be less stressful.
  2. Do nothing that, after being done, leads you to tell a lie.
  3. Make duplicates of all your keys.  Hide a house key in a secret spot and carry a duplicate car key in your wallet, apart from your key ring.
  4. Unplug yourself.  Drum up the courage to disconnect.  They will leave a message.
  5. Don’t put up with something that doesn’t work right.  From windshield wipers to shoelaces, avoid the constant aggravation, get them fixed or replaced.
  6. Try the following yoga technique.  Inhale deeply through your nose to the count of eight.  Then exhale slowly through your mouth to the count of 16 of longer.  Concentrate on the long singing sound and feel the tension dissolve.  Repeat 10 times.
  7. Say “no!”.  Learning to say no to extra projects, social activities, and invitations you know you don’t have time, energy or interest in takes practice, self-respect, and a belief that everyone, everyday needs quiet time to relax and refuel.
  8. Take a lunch break.  Try to get away from your desk or work area in body and mind, even if it’s just for 15 or 20 minutes.
  9. If an especially unpleasant task faces you, do it early in the day and get it over with.  Then the rest of your day will be free of anxiety.
  10. Get enough sleep.  If necessary, use an alarm clock to remind you to go to bed.
  11. One of the most obvious ways to avoid unnecessary stress is to select an environment (work, home, leisure) which is in line with your personal needs and desires.
  12. Having a forgiving view of events and people.  Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world.

Stress remedy, number 13:

When problems with stress, mental health, substance abuse, relationships or emotional issues are affecting your life and functioning, call for help.  Health Affiliates Maine can help:  Call 877-888-4304.

If you need help…we can help!
Health Affiliates Maine

Sign Up To Receive Our Latest Blog Posts!

Learn more tips on living well and understanding mental illness. Help to end the stigma, and hear inspiring stories of recovery. Sign up here!

    Use these 8 helpful tips to assure you are getting the most of Outpatient Therapy

  1.  Keep your appointments as scheduled whenever possible.calendar
  2. Reschedule if needed with 24-hour notice:  Missed appointments impact on you, your counselor, those who provider transportation and other clients who may have needed an appointment. When clients miss several appointments it is within the counselor’s discretion of whether or not to reschedule, and it is possible you might be scheduled at a different time, frequency, or discharged from services.  Your counselor will discuss this with you if it should become a concern.
  3. Often counselors will assign homework for you to build and practice new skills and to help you reach your identified goals.  As with any new skill, practice is of importance to be able to use new skills and create healthier habits.  Often it is those skills we feel the most skeptical of that can be of most benefit.
  4. Keep your counselor informed of any other providers you are working with as well as changes in your symptoms or situation.
  5. Communication is key.  Counselors may check in with parents or guardians to provide the best quality care.
  6. Communication among providers can improve your outcome; sign releases to allow this coordination of care when you feel it will be of benefit.  Your counselor may ask you to sign a release if they feel it is a benefit to you.  You have the right to accept or refuse this.
  7. Many clinicians will begin therapy weekly and then space appointments as needed and determined by the therapist and client.  If you have a specific need to do something different please discuss this with your counselor.
  8. Actively participate in the service planning progress as goals are being developed and evaluated. You are the expert in what you want to accomplish as a result of counseling.

Goal

 

Sign Up To Receive Our Latest Blog Posts!

Learn more tips on living well and understanding mental illness. Help to end the stigma, and hear inspiring stories of recovery. Sign up here!

The following is a summary of your rights as a recipient of outpatient (nonresidential) services under the Rights of Recipients of Mental Health Services.

1. Basic Rights. You have the same civil, human and legal rights, which all citizens are entitled.  You have the right to be treated with courtesy, respect and dignity.

2. Right to Confidentiality and Access to Records.  You have the right to have your records kept confidential; to be released only with your informed and signed consent.  (Specific circumstances where the agency can release or share information as described in the Rights book.)  You have the right to review your record at any reasonable time and to add written comments to clarify information you believe is inaccurate or imcomplete.

3. Right to an Individualized Treatment Service Plan.   You have the right to a written service plan, developed by you and your worker, based on your needs and goals. The plan must: be based on your actual needs, identify how a need will be met if the service is not available; include tasks to be completed and by whom; time frames for accomplishment of tasts and goals; and criteria to determine success. If you do not agree with the plan, you have the right to request and receive a second opinion. You have a right to a copy of the plan.

4. Right to Informed Consent.  No service or treatment can be provided to you against your will.  You have the right to be informed of possible risks and anticipated benefits of all services and treatment.  You may designate a representative who is authorized to help you understand and exercise your rights, help you make decisions, or to make decisions for you.  The guardian also has the right to be fully informed.

5. Right to File a Grievance and Appeal.  You have the right, without retribution, to grieve any violation of your rights or a questionable practice.  You have the right to a written response, including reasons for the decision.  You may appeal any decision to the Department of Behavioral & Developmental Services.  For assistance contact:  Office of Advocacy, 60 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333 (287-2205) or Disability Rights Center, P.O. Box 2007, Augusta, Maine 04330 (1-800-452-1948).

Sign Up To Receive Our Latest Blog Posts!

Learn more tips on living well and understanding mental illness. Help to end the stigma, and hear inspiring stories of recovery. Sign up here!