The Maine Behavioral Healthcare Advisory Committee met for the first time in September 2013. It is comprised of both consumers and family members, committed to making a difference in the delivery of mental health care services in Maine. Each month’s meeting offers an opportunity to give MBH staff input on various issues. Topics we’ve covered have included electronic medical records, phone and written communication with patients and families, program development, as well as presentations given to keep the group apprised of ongoing projects at Maine Behavioral Healthcare and the Department of Psychiatry at Maine Medical Center.
Since its inception more than two years ago, we’ve seen firsthand the impact our comments and feedback have had, not only on the programs and initiatives being developed, but also on the cohesiveness of our group. Members come prepared to have in-depth and thoughtful discussions. We are able to share different perspectives, sometimes covering challenging topics, but we listen respectfully and learn from each other.
For consumers and family-members, whose voices are often marginalized in this context, it has been empowering for committee members to use their (sometimes painful) personal experience to help make a difference. We are proud of the work we do and grateful to our committee members for their passion and dedication, as well as our excellent working relationship with the MBH staff. It has been an honor to help forge such a successful community partnership!
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