A One Woman Support System
As a Psychiatry Support Specialist at Maine Behavioral Healthcare’s Brunswick office, Allyson Eaton is always equipped with a big smile for the clients who walk through her door. That smile means a lot because for some of them the act of simply keeping an appointment is difficult, so Eaton’s friendly face is a welcome sight.
Eaton’s role is a balance of administrative and clinical duties, such as taking vitals, verifying prescriptions, scheduling appointments and connecting with pharmacies and insurance companies. Because of the opioid crisis, the prescriptions for psychiatric medications are closely monitored and refills are written on an appointment to appointment basis. So when a client comes in for their medication management visit with the provider, Eaton must make sure they are leaving with a prescription length matching their next appointment.
“Prescriptions and appointments go hand in hand here,” Eaton says. “If a client needs to be seen every four to six weeks, but we are booking out longer than that, I need to make sure their prescription allows for that so there are no setbacks.”
Keeping the appointment alone can be hard for some clients, depending on transportation barriers or diagnoses, and a lapse in medication can be very disruptive to their lives. Eaton’s goal is to make everything as seamless as possible for the clients.
“These clients aren’t just a number to me,” Eaton says. “So many of us have experienced mental illness in some way and can all relate to each other. Everyone deserves a smile, a support system and to be heard – and that’s my job.”
If an issue arises, Eaton will research and help clients with decisions. When clients are in need of resources like case management or transportation, she acts as a liaison to connect the client to the necessary person or service. Eaton’s compassion for clients is felt by everyone.
“Allyson is so dedicated,” says Eaton’s supervisor and Practice Manager Michelle Curtis. “She has a big heart and such a positive attitude – it’s infectious not only to the clients, but all of us who work with her.”
Eaton’s dedication has driven her back to school to become a Medical Assistant. This certification would allow her to administer medications via injections, which would further assist the clients she works with.
“At the end of the day, the best feeling is knowing that a client came into my office upset but left with a smile on their face and knowing that things will be ok.”