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When you’re helping your loved one receive mental health care in Maine

 

These tips can help you stay informed and help you set realistic expectations. Remember: be patient and celebrate the little wins.

Many people feel relieved when their loved one finally begins getting help for their mental illness. While this is a great step, patience through this time will be needed because the journey is not swift or predictable.

But be assured–things can get better!

Keep in Mind…

  • Sometimes it takes a while to find Maine psychiatric service providers (psychiatrist, therapist and/or counselor) your loved feels comfortable with. If, after a few appointments, your loved one decides he/she is not “connecting” with the provider, it’s OK to look for someone else. Remember, it’s important for your loved one to have a psychiatrist and/or therapist he/she likes to increase the chances of sticking with treatment and making progress. If your loved one’s looking for a provider, visit our page, How Do I Find…
  • It could take a while before your loved one receives a diagnosis. In some cases, there could be more than one “mental illness” involved or diagnosed. This is typical and it may take time. Patience is the key while your loved one’s mental health professionals work through this puzzle.
  • Learn all you can—this is probably new territory for you. Educating yourself about your loved one’s mental illness will help you deal with your situation better and help immensely in your efforts to communicate with your loved one and his/her providers (if he/she allows you to be involved–see below). To get started, check out Maine Mental Health Resources for Family and Other Supporters.
  • If your loved one is older than 18, privacy laws preclude you from having access to diagnosis and/or treatment information unless he/she signs a release with the provider. However, you can call the doctor and provide information you think is relevant to their care, such as:
    • Symptoms you’ve noticed
    • Concerns you have
    • Any other information you feel may help the doctor in making a diagnosis.

    Be aware, though, that some doctors tell their patients that a family member has called and what was said. This may feel like a betrayal of trust to your loved one and could impact your relationship going forward. If this concerns you, be sure to confirm with the doctor that he/she will NOT share the contents of your conversation with your loved one.

IMPORTANT! If you get stuck working through the issues related to supporting your loved one:

  • Call the Maine Mental Health Crisis Hotline at 1-888-568-1112. They’re trained to help you through these situations and have access to helpful resources.
  • Or call us at 207-396-4313 and we will help guide you to the resources you need.

Words of Hope


"Making that first phone call for help was a bit of a blow to my ego, but it was such a relief to find that help is available.  I only had to reach out."
- DB

 

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Family Hope
PO Box 1385
Scarborough, ME 04070-1385
207-396-4313
info@familyhopeme.org

    

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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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