BANGOR, Maine — NAMI officials and Acadia Hospital pediatric representatives from inpatient, partial hospitalization and outpatient services met recently at Acadia Hospital with several parents of children who have received services at Acadia.

The purpose was to discuss approaches and ideas that will help Acadia improve outreach to families. This is part of a larger effort between NAMI and Acadia to engage, inform and support families in the care of their family members, regardless of age. These efforts include the creation of a Parent Handbook for children who are admitted to the inpatient unit and a welcome packet for patients of the hospital and their families.

“It was an extremely helpful dialogue between the hospital and parents. We look at ways to improve processes, delivery of services and quality care each and every day,” stated Stephanie Bernier, administrator of Pediatric Services.

The listening session was facilitated by Christine Canty Brooks, NAMI director of Peer and Family Support. Parents used four questions to generate ideas and feedback for Acadia staff. The discussion revealed a variety of good ideas and information. Next steps in the process of improving Acadia’s ability to engage families will involve NAMI and Acadia staff reviewing the information gathered and creating a plan to enact the improvements.