A mental health resource connection for families in Maine
207-396-4313 | info@familyhopeme.org
Mental health terms in every day language
 
Adult partial hospitalization
This is a partial-day service for adults who may need a wider range of services beyond simply seeing a therapist in their office, but do not require the 24-hour-a-day treatment of an inpatient psychiatric hospital. To learn more visit Spring Harbor Hospital.

Advance Directive
Advance directives describe a person's treatment preferences when they are faced with a serious accident or illness and can't speak for themselves—for instance, if someone with mental illness stops taking their medication and becomes unable to care for themselves or becomes psychotic. To learn more visit the State of Maine website.

Anosognosia
A lack of insight. Some people with mental illness don't feel they are ill, and therefore feel they don't need treatment. To learn more visit NAMI Maine.

Anxiety
A feeling of dread or worry. To learn more visit NAMI Maine.

Assertive Community Treatment
ACT is a variety of services, such as assessments, psychiatric services, and other supports critical to an individual's ability to live successfully in the community. To learn more visit the ACT Association.

Assertive Community Treatment Integrating Outpatient Networks
An extension of ACT which combines stable housing and 24/7 intensive mental health treatment services on one team. In Greater Portland, it is a collaboration among Community Counseling Center, Shalom House, and the State of Maine. To learn more visit the Community Counseling Center or Maine Mental Health Partners.

Best practice
Best practices are the most efficient (least amount of effort) and effective (best results) way of accomplishing a task, based on procedures that have proven themselves over time for large numbers of people.

Bipolar Disorder
Is a psychiatric illness, also known as manic depression. It can cause extreme shifts in mood, energy and functioning. Mood disorders can include only depression (unipolar), both depression and mania (bipolar) or episodes may be mixed. For signs and symptoms and to learn more visit NAMI Maine or Medicine Net.

Blue Paper
A term for involuntary commitment. Someone may be "Blue Papered" if a psychiatrist believes they are a danger to themselves or are unable to care themselves. The involuntary commitment is for three days only and is meant to assess the person's situation. This process requires a psychiatric evaluation and a judge's signature. It's called "Blue Paper" because the paperwork used are blue. State of Maine website

Case Management
Case management is a service delivery model. A case manager will assist you in finding care and accessing services. Different agencies may provide case management services. Insurances may or may not reimburse for a case manager.

Co-occurring Disorders
Co-occurring means having more than one mental illness and/or addiction.

Cognition
A word that refers to the way you think and understand things.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
A treatment approach that focuses on helping people change their thoughts and their behaviors. A self-help model that teaches "how you think creates how you feel." To learn more visit Medicine Net.

Community Residential Program
Programs for people with psychiatric and/or substance abuse problems. They may live in the residence for a period of time in order to receive intensive services. To learn more visit Opportunity Alliance.

Comorbid Medical Issues
Two or more illnesses occurring at the same time such as medical/psychiatric/substance dependence. Each may have an effect on treatment of the others. Also known as co-occurring disorders and dual diagnosis.

Consumer
Term used broadly to describe people who access mental health services.

Consumer Council System of Maine
The Consumer Council System of Maine is a vehicle for consumers of mental health services to give advice and make positive public policy changes from the inside out. To learn more visit the Consumer Council of Maine.

Coping Skills
Ideas or behaviors that you use to manage your symptoms and stressors.

Counselor
Any one of a number of different professionals who provide counseling and support services.

Crisis Intervention Team
May be allied through a community mental health center to respond and help defuse a crisis situation. To learn more visit CIT International.

Crisis Intervention Training
Intensive training of law enforcement officers to respond effectively to people experiencing psychiatric crises. To learn more visit NAMI Maine.

Crisis Plans
A written plan for steps to take when you are in an emergency or need extra support. Also know as a safety plan. To learn more visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Crisis Stabilization Mobile Response
May be allied through a community mental health center to respond and help defuse a crisis situation.

Day Treatment
Another term for partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient services.

Delirium
Medical emergency in which some condition is toxically affecting the brain, causing severe inattention, misperceptions, confusion, disorientation and possibly other symptoms. To learn more visit Medicine Net.

Delusion
A fixed false belief. Delusions may occur in a number of psychiatric illnesses. They may be paranoid or grandiose. To learn more visit Medicine Net.

Depression
Depression is a mood disorder with many potential causes. Depression can affect mood, energy, sleeping, attention and many other factors. To learn more visit Medicine Net.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy
A treatment approach that teaches mindfulness and nonjudgmental thinking to manage emotions and symptoms. Based on a well-developed theory that biological and social patterns interact to create difficulty managing emotions. To learn more visit Medicine Net.

Discharge Planning
Part of any hospital or day treatment stay in which planning is made to determine which ongoing services are needed, such as counseling or medication management.

Dissociative Disorders
A sensation of being out of touch with one's self or one's reality.

Dorothea Dix
Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center (formerly known as Bangor Mental Health Institute) located in Bangor, Maine, is one of two State psychiatric hospitals under the Maine State Department of Health and Human Services. To learn more visit the State of Maine website. Who is Dorothea Dix?

Driver Education Evaluation Program
Program for people who have been arrested for Driving Under the Influence to regain their license. To learn more visit the State of Maine website.

Dual Diagnosis
Two or more illnesses occurring at the same time such as medical/psychiatric/substance dependence. Each may have an effect on treatment of the others. Also known as comorbid and co-occurring disorders.

Dysthymia (or Dysthymic Disorder)
Mild, but long term (or chronic) form of depression that can interfere with one's ability to function and enjoy life.

Electric Convulsive Treatment
ECT is another treatment often used with severe depression or when medication and therapies do not work. Formerly called "shock treatment" To learn more visit Medicine Net.

Evidence Based Community Practice
Programs that have been replicated and have published research showing them to be effective.

Functional Family Therapy
FFT is a short-term, high quality intervention program with an average of 12 sessions over a 3-4 month period. Services are conducted in both clinic and home settings. To learn more visit the Functional Family Therapy website.

Group Psychotherapy
A treatment approach to help identify and understand your feelings and behaviors by talking and receiving feedback from others.

Guardianship
A Guardian may be appointed if a court rules a person is incompetent to make decisions on their own behalf. An incompetency hearing must be held before guardianship is given. Guardianship gives more rights to the guardian than having a Power of Attorney. To learn more visit the State of Maine website.

Hallucination
A distortion in a person's view of reality. Someone may see, hear, feel, taste or smell something that is not there. To learn more visit Medicine Net.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
HIPAA is a U.S. law, enacted in 2003, designed to provide privacy standards to protect patients' medical records and other health information. To learn more visit Medicine Net.

High Fidelity Wraparound
Wraparound is a process of individualized care planning for youth with complex needs and their families. To learn more visit the State of Maine website.

Hypomania
A condition similar to mania but less severe. Hypomanic episodes have a lesser effect on day-to-day functioning than mania. To learn more visit Medicine Net.

Inpatient
Receiving medical and mental health services in a hospital.

Integrated Care
Integrated care refers to the practice of including mental health care into primary care settings and primary care into mental health care settings to care for the entire person. To learn more visit NAMI Maine.

Intensive Outpatient Program
A type of partial hospital/day treatment involving a variety of treatment types. People live at home, but receive group and individual therapies during the day.

Katie Beckett Program
Katie Beckett is a MaineCare option for children with serious health conditions. It is one way your child can receive MaineCare. To learn more visit the State of Maine website. Who is Katie Beckett?

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
LCPC. Licensed counselors provide psychological counseling (psychotherapy) for a range of concerns. They usually have at least a master's degree. Counselors may specialize in certain areas, such as career counseling, marriage issues or substance abuse. They work in private practice, community agencies, hospitals, employee assistance programs and in other settings. They do NOT prescribe medication. To learn more visit the Mayo Clinic.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Social work is a broad profession. In general, social workers help people overcome social and health problems by providing a range of services. Most social workers have a masters or more advanced degree. Social workers who provide mental health services have specialized training. They do NOT prescribe medication. To learn more visit the Mayo Clinic.

Maine Care
MaineCare is the name of Maine's Medicaid Program. Medicaid is a federal and state funded program that pays the medical expenses of people who are unable to pay some or all of their own medical expenses. To learn more visit the State of Maine website.

Major Depression
A disease with certain characteristic signs and symptoms that interferes with the ability to work, sleep, eat, and enjoy once pleasurable activities. To learn more visit Medicine Net.

Mania
An elevated mood state characterized by symptoms such as inappropriate elation, increased irritability, severe insomnia, grandiose notions, increased speed and/or volume of speech, disconnected and racing thoughts, increased sexual desire, markedly increased energy and activity level, poor judgment, and inappropriate social behavior. To learn more visit Medicine Net.

Manic Depression
Is a psychiatric illness, also known as bipolar disorder. It can cause extreme shifts in mood, energy and functioning. These mood disorders can include only depression (unipolar), both depression and mania (bipolar) or episodes may be mixed. For signs and symptoms and to learn more visit NAMI Maine or Medicine Net.

Medication Compliant
When a person is taking their medications as prescribed by their provider, they are considered medication compliant, or med compliant.

Mental illness
A mental illness is a medical condition in the brain that disrupts a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. To learn more visit NAMI Maine.

MSW
A master's degree in social work. They must work supervised for a period of time to become eligible to take the test for LCSW.

Neuropsychological Testing
Tests, generally administered by a psychologist or someone under the supervision of a psychologist. The focus is evaluating a variety of cognitive functions. These tests can ultimately help the provider make a better diagnosis and work better with their patient. To learn more visit the National Institute of Health.

Noncompliance
Failure to take a prescribed medicine or follow a prescribed course of treatment.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
A combination of unwanted ideas or impulses (obsession) combined with repetitive rituals (compulsion). To learn more visit NAMI Maine.

Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy services may include comprehensive evaluations of the client’s home and other environments (e.g., workplace, school), recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers. To learn more visit the American Occupational Therapy Association.

Open Access
Open Access is a walk-in program for people looking for mental health care. Calling ahead is not necessary and some people are able to get an appointment right away. To learn more visit the Community Counseling Center.

Outpatient
Receiving medical and mental health services outside of a hospital setting.

Panic Disorder
A panic attack is an uncontrollable panic response to ordinary, nonthreatening situations or for no reason at all. Panic Disorder occurs when these attacks happen often. To learn more visit NAMI Maine.

Paranoia
Involves suspicions or the belief that one is being harassed persecuted, or unfairly treated.

Parity
Provides insurance coverage for substance use and mental health disorders equal to other chronic health conditions like diabetes, asthma, and hypertension. To learn more visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Peer Support
People who have mental health issues who come together to support each other.

Personality Disorders
Personality is related to a person's innate genetic makeup plus the effects of their life experiences. When their personality leads them to experience difficulty in interacting with others, and causes problems in functioning, they may be given a psychiatric diagnosis of a Personality Disorder. To learn more visit the Mayo Clinic.

Phobia
Intense situational fear which the person knows is exaggerated.

Physician Assistant
Works under the supervision of a physician. Often used in inpatient psychiatric units in a hospital.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Experiencing traumatic events can change the way our brains function. Repeated experience of a traumatic event can prevent healing and keep a person stuck in a pattern that may cause anxiety, sleeplessness, anger or an increased possibility of substance abuse. To learn more visit NAMI Maine.

Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a document in which you state that you give someone else (usually a relative or friend) the authority to make certain decisions and act on your behalf. Executing a power of attorney does not mean that you can no longer make decisions; it just means that another person can act for you also. To learn more visit Maine Legal Services for the Elderly.

Provider
A term used to refer to doctors, therapists, counselors or any professional who helps care for someone else.

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Has a masters degree or doctoral degree and is a registered nurse with specific training in psychiatric care. May work independently and is able to prescribe medication. To learn more download this PDF from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Psychiatrist
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have received special training in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Psychiatrists can evaluate someone for a mental illness and prescribe appropriate medication. It is important for the patient to have regular appointments with their psychiatrist to adjust medications as needed. Many psychiatrists do medication checks only and do not provide therapy services. Ask the psychiatrist when making an appointment. To learn more visit the Mayo Clinic.

Psychologist
Has a master's or doctoral degree in psychology. They are trained to diagnose mental illnesses and provide individual and group therapy. They may also do neuropsychological testing. They DO NOT prescribe medication. To learn more visit the Mayo Clinic.

Psychosis
People with psychoses lose touch with reality. Two of the main symptoms are delusions and hallucinations. To learn more visit MedLine Plus.

Psychotic Break
A break with reality at some point in a person's mental illness. It can occur in any type of mental illness.

Psychotropic Medication
Psychotropic medications affect the brain chemicals associated with mood, thinking and behavior. Includes anti-depressants, mood stabilizers and most medication used for mental illness.

Recovery
Recovery means having hope for the future, living a self-determined life, maintaining self esteem, and achieving meaningful roles in society. Most consumers report they want the same things other people want: a sense of belonging, an adequate income, a way to get around, and a decent place to live. They aspire to build an acceptable identity for themselves and in the community at large. From the Subcommittee on Consumer Issues to the New Freedom Commission (2003).

Riverview
Riverview Psychiatric Center is located in Augusta, Maine and is one of two State psychiatric hospitals under the Maine State Department of Health and Human Services. To learn more visit Riverview Psychiatric Hospital in Maine.

Safety Plan
A written plan for steps to take when you are in an emergency or need extra support. Also know as a crisis plan. To learn more, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Schizoaffective Disorder
Schizoaffective disorder resembles both schizophrenia and also serious mood symptoms. A person who has schizoaffective disorder may experience delusions, hallucinations, and other symptoms that are characteristic of schizophrenia and significant disturbances in their mood. To learn more visit NAMI Maine.

Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a severe, lifelong brain disorder. People who have it may hear voices, see things that aren't there or believe that others are reading or controlling their minds. They include hallucinations, (either visual or auditory), and delusions (fixed false beliefs) such as hearing voices. To learn more visit Medicine Net.

Serious mental illness
Adults with a serious mental illness are persons: (1) age 18 and over, (2) who currently or at any time during the past year, (3) have a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder of sufficient duration to meet diagnostic criteria specified within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-III-R, (4) that has resulted in functional impairment which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities…All of these disorders have episodic, recurrent, or persistent features; however, they vary in terms of severity and disabling effects. Federal Register Volume 58 No. 96 published Thursday May 20, 1993, pages 29422-29425.

Social Security Disability Insurance
Pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are "insured," meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes. To learn more visit the United States Social Security Administration.

Social Worker
In general, social workers help people overcome social and health problems by providing a range of services. Most social workers have a masters or more advanced degree. Social workers who provide mental health services have specialized training. To learn more visit the Mayo Clinic.

Spring Harbor Hospital
Spring Harbor Hospital is a not for profit psychiatric provider of inpatient and outpatient services for individuals who experience acute mental illness or dual disorders issues in the Greater Portland area. To learn more visit Spring Harbor Hospital.

Stigma
An attempt to label a particular group of people as less worthy of respect than others. To learn more visit NAMI Maine.

Suicide
The intentional taking of one's life. To learn more, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Supplemental Security Income
Pays benefits based on financial needs. To learn more visit the United States Social Security Administration.

Support Groups
Any group which provides support services such as family support group, peer support group, etc. To learn more visit NAMI Maine.

Symptom
Words that describe how you are experiencing your mental illness.

Trauma Intervention Program
TIP. Specially trained citizen volunteers who provide emotional and practical support to victims of traumatic events and their families in the few first hours following a tragedy. To learn more visit the Trauma Intervention Program site.

Vocational Rehabilitation
A program that helps people who have disabilities to get and keep a job. To learn more visit the State of Maine website.

Warm Line
A warm line is a peer-run (operated by someone who has a mental illness) listening line staffed by people in recovery themselves. To learn more, call 1-866-771-9276.

Words of Hope


"Hope is outreaching desire with expectancy of good. It is a characteristic of all living beings. "
- Edward S. Ame

 

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207-396-4313
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Family Hope is Maine's resource for finding mental health services. We do not endorse any one program or organization. Our mission is to connect you to options, saving you time and frustration.
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