Excerpts from letters from former Arbour Health System patients.

 

“I am writing primarily as a parent and caregiver of a 31-year-old son recently hospitalized at Pembroke Hospital.

“Arbour Health—in particular its Pembroke hospital staff—deserves some kudos for the manner in which they handled our son’s case this past spring. Pembroke Hospital’s mission statement can be paraphrased as, “We listen to our patients, and address their needs in a meaningful manner acceptable to them.”

“For the first time in six hospitalization periods at six different hospitals over a span of six years, an attending clinical staff actually listened to our son and did not insist in administering mood-stabilizing and anti-psychosis drugs, as they recognized upon discharge he would again cease taking his medications. Instead, they advised him how marijuana use likely triggered this most recent psychotic break. His psychiatrist and case worker deserve kudos for their thoughtful care of our son during his three-week hospitalization.

“While our son was at Pembroke, the staff conducted an EEG, discovered he had some abnormal brain waves, and recommended he have a neuro-psychological examination. We await the report and are hopeful it will lead to a better-focused treatment plan.”

Pembroke Hospital
Parent of an Adult Inpatient

 

“I first have to say thank you so much! To be frank, if it wasn’t for the dedicated, intelligent, caring and genuine staff, I wouldn’t be here. You made me feel like a human first and a patient second. Something like that was very hard to come by where I live.

“I spent nearly two weeks at my local mental health unit and didn’t get any better or react well to medication or treatment. I also spent several weeks in a partial hospitalization program which also failed to offer repair or benefits. It got to a point where I was afraid of the depressive solitude of my home, too afraid to eat or cook, and too depressed and suicidal to go to friends or therapy for help-I felt safe nowhere. I had given up.

“Luckily, a dear friend pressed a local crisis center to look one more time for a facility out-of-region for help. After a long nerve-racking night at the ER and a long car ride, I arrived at your facility. Nervous at first, I soon attended every program, ate regularly, exercised, made good friends and slept well for the first time in months.

“For the first time, I felt safe in a mental health unit. All of the nurses, counselors and program leaders who worked with me and my doctor were some of the most kind-hearted, respectful and caring medical professionals I’ve ever seen in this field. My doctor’s medication choices helped gain freedom from my sadness, grief, paranoia, insomnia; all of it. I left your facility a new person who wasn’t depressed or afraid anymore, I was proud and strong. Also, as a transgendered patient, I felt completely respected and understood and safe.

“My doctor and all other mental health unit staff saved me from the terrifying pit of depression and suicidal thoughts. You all saved my life and empowered me. Thank you all.”

Lowell Treatment Center
Adult Inpatient

 

“I currently go to Arbour Counseling Services, Jamaica Plain and I absolutely love it. I attended Arbour Counseling Allston years ago and my clinician wrote a letter for me helping me get custody of my daughter back. I love Arbour.”

Arbour Counseling Services
Jamaica Plain and Allston
Adult PHP Patient

 

“I went to Arbour-HRI for many years off and on. They were always very helpful and I haven’t required inpatient treatment for a few years. I currently receive outpatient treatment at Arbour Counseling Services in Allston and I have great providers.”

Arbour Counseling Services, Allston
Adult PHP Patient

 

“I want to take the time to thank you for all you did to help my son. You made such a huge difference and were more helpful to me than anyone else I have dealt with during this most challenging time. I want you to know that we are so grateful for your time and genuine concern. My son is currently stable and I continue to hope that we can better manage his mental health.”

Lowell Treatment Center
Adolescent Inpatient

 

“The staff at the Westwood Lodge dual diagnosis program is second to none. All staff members go above and beyond for each patient and it shows that they genuinely care. Given this is my third time coming in the past year I have seen the program continue to get better. I had hands down the most caring and compassionate psychiatric nurse I have ever encountered. She goes out of her way to observe patients in groups as well as check in with them on a daily basis to make sure each patient is getting the appropriate treatment needed.

“Also, the case managers are extremely compassionate and knowledgeable in what they do. In conclusion, this program has saved my life more than once and I will forever be grateful to the amazing staff members here.”

Westwood Lodge
Adult Dual Diagnosis PHP Patient

 

“To all the staff and counselors an immense thank you! You have treated me with kindness and dignity and I won’t forget it ever! A special thanks to my counselor and my doctor for all of your help. To everyone—don’t take this the wrong way—I hope I never see you again! Sincerely and with love.”

Arbour-HRI Hospital
Women’s Inpatient Unit

 

“I was at Arbour-Fuller Hospital and I loved the program. I have been sober for nine months. Arbour is a great organization.”

Arbour-Fuller Hospital
Adult Inpatient

 

From AHS News, November/December 2016