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Maine Behavioral Healthcare
  Spring Harbor Hospital News

Sadie and Harry Davis Foundation awards $15K to local youth program

(April 16, 2008)-A $15,000 grant from The Sadie and Harry Davis Foundation will help fund research that could fuel expansion of an innovative Greater Portland treatment program for youth with mental health challenges.

Established in 2000, Spring Harbor Hospital's Anchor Program treats youth who are at high risk for out-of-home placement due to mental health issues such as anxiety, attention deficit disorder, substance abuse, depression, or schizophrenia. This first-in-Maine program serves as many as 70 families a year by delivering intensive treatment to both children and their family members over a 3-month time period.

One family recently helped by the program is a Cape Elizabeth couple whose 4-year-old son experienced mental health concerns, speech and learning challenges, and increasingly aggressive and out-of-control behavior. Referred to Anchor by a local psychologist, the couple received in-home parenting support twice each week for 2 hours while their child worked one-on-one with a therapist in an adjoining room.

The child's mother called the program "a miracle that brought about the union of our family" and transformed her son into "a boy who began using his words instead of taking out his emotions on others."

The Anchor model's effectiveness was first reviewed in comparison to traditional community treatment in 2003, when a study matched participants of both approaches for age, gender, and severity of illness. In that study, Anchor's approach proved to be both economically and clinically effective. Areas in which Anchor's clients excelled their peers included improvements in behavior toward others, control of emotions, performance in school, and overall ability to function in daily life.

"The Anchor participants showed marked improvement over their peers receiving traditional case management services," said Douglas R. Robbins, MD, principal investigator of the program and Medical Director of The Glickman Family Center for Child & Adolescent Psychiatry  at Spring Harbor Hospital. "This new grant will help us confirm those study findings and document standards of care that could drive expansion of the model in Maine."

The new study will take into account participants' diagnoses and history, their parents' psychiatric needs, and the family's interaction patterns. Findings will help improve the existing model and drive creation of a program manual to facilitate replication of the Anchor approach.

"We are honored that our work has been recognized by The Sadie and Harry Davis Foundation as having the potential to help so many more Maine youth and families cope with and recover from mental illness," said Barbara Fowler, LCSW, Anchor's clinical team leader. "We look forward to sharing the results of this latest study in about 18 months."

Through locations across Greater Portland and agreements with providers statewide, Spring Harbor Hospital offers the region's most complete nonprofit mental health treatment, training, and research programs. To learn more, call 207-761-2200 or visit www.springharbor.org.
 
The Sadie and Harry Davis Foundation was established through the will of Sadie Davis, widow of Harry E. Davis, MD, a beloved Portland pediatrician who served as Chief of Pediatrics at Mercy Hospital from 1943 until his death in 1963. In Maine, the Foundation is represented by Sharon L. Rosen of Portland, a consultant to philanthropic and nonprofit organizations. For more information, contact Ms. Rosen at (207) 772-7514.

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