Making a Difference

Making a Difference 2017-06-21T20:12:28+00:00

We receive many letters, emails and calls each year from individuals who attest to the high quality care provided by AHS. The following are excerpts 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
November/December 2016

“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
November/December 2016

“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
November/December 2016

“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
November/December 2016

“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
November/December 2016

“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
November/December 2016

“I’d like to say that the staff here is outstanding! They are very helpful, thoughtful and respectful. I’d like to recognize the staff that all went above and beyond. My stay here has been very helpful both for my mental health and for detox.

“I pray to never come back, but if I have to I’d want to come back to Westwood Lodge. Thank you for helping me to help myself get better.”

Westwood Lodge
Adult PHP Patient
July/August 2016

“I feel like I have to write this piece to thank so many people who have helped me these past two weeks.

“First, I want to say how much group therapy has done for me! On my first day, I was a wreck! I was anxious beyond belief and was so afraid that no one else in the room suffered from anxiety. I was afraid I would have nothing in common with them. About a half hour later, our group leader asked the group to raise their hand if they have anxiety. Almost everyone did! Immediately, I felt safe and like I instantly had a family.

“These two weeks have been so empowering and I really am in awe at how easily someone can change your life forever. All of you are beautiful people, inside and out. You all have so much potential and so much emotional strength. Each one of you has made my life fuller and more whole. And thank you to the amazing staff. It if wasn’t for all of you, no one would ever speak up. Your love, respect, and understanding helps beyond what words can say. Thank you for allowing us to feel okay about whatever is bothering us. I will deeply miss all of you but really want to stay in touch. I love you with all my heart and ALL of you will do great things in life!”

Pembroke Hospital
Adult PHP Patient
July/August 2016

“I truly believe that as I pass through my life I will always remember my time at Pembroke Partial with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and love.

“Everyday that all of you get up and come to work you are changing lives for the better. I know it sounds cheesy, but honestly, with every euphoric feeling and every hysterical laugh I will experience during my life I will owe it to everyone at PHP. You have helped me grow an exceptional amount, all the while with gentle and kind hands. What you do kind of makes all of you
a hero in my eyes and many others.

“It has been a little over two weeks since I was discharged, and although they have been filled with ups and downs I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Light that I thought once was out of my reach. Thank you for helping me pass through my tunnel.”

Pembroke Hospital
Adolescent PHP Patient
May/June 2016

“The program provides a safe atmosphere and reiterates it daily to reassure clients that this is a safe place. They all do a great job. My counselor gave me the opportunity to help myself when I needed it and for that I am grateful. I would definitely recommend this program.”

Lowell Treatment Center
Adult PHP Patient
May/June 2016

“Thank you for the wonderful care my son received during his stay at your hospital. The doctors and staff have been so kind and caring. His nurse needs to be commended for the professional care she gives her patients. He also commented on how good the food was.”

Pembroke Hospital
Patient
May/June 2016

“Please know that I appreciate and forever will be grateful for you and the PHP staff. Your kindness, compassion, humor and empathy have all combined to make this a good experience.”

ACS, Worcester
Adult PHP Patient
May/June 2016

“My daughter just got discharged from there and I want to commend your staff for a job well done. Her nurse’s aide was exceptional, always smiling and never anxious. Just so calm and professional. Thank you.”

Arbour-HRI Hospital
Inpatient
May/June 2016

“I’m doing great. I just got a job. I got my first paycheck. I’m actually happy. I’m working on getting my own apartment. I love to walk. I look at life at a whole different way.

“I just wanted to thank you all for everything you did for me. I’m always thinking of all the staff, I know now without your staff, I would not be here. I just wanted to let you know I’m doing great. I just wanted to let you know. Thanks so much.”

Lowell Treatment Center
Adult Patient
May/June 2016

“Everyone was stellar. They made me feel at home and safe. They were patient with me during my break-downs and panic attack. The last time I was here, my mental health coordinators were awesome teachers and supporters.

“This visit my coordinator was incredible. She took a lot of time talking to me privately, sitting with me when I had a crisis and helping me consider different options.

“She patiently answered a deluge of questions and that was an incredibly generous gift and blessing. Because of her support and suggestions, I am able to test out different options for my continued care…mostly because of the skills I learned. Thank you all very much.”

Pembroke Hospital
Adult and Adolescent Partial Hospitalization Programs
March/April 2016

“Thank you for a wonderful experience! Every class was wonderful and educational. I came to the PHP after a series of traumatic events, and your DBT classes rebuilt my strength both inner and outer. I appreciate all of you! I know it is a team effort to help all of us, so from the bottom of my heart, thank you!”

Arbour-Fuller Hospital
Adult PHP Patient
March/April 2016

“I just want to write you this letter for encouragement and thanks. I’m truly grateful that even though you are busy working, you always took the time to help so I could move forward in my recovery. Besides my faith and spiritual beliefs, I don’t think I would have made it this far without all the hard work you did for me when you could have easily brushed me off. So to be brief, and to the point, thank you, and I thank (staff member) as well and all the other staff that helped me in my journey and just want to say I am truly grateful and keep up the good work. You all made a great and positive difference in my life!”

Arbour-Fuller Hospital
Patient
January/February 2016

“I hope you’ll realize this is my small attempt to thank you for your compassion, your empathy, your strength, patience, your care and yes, even those times you get me to step out of a box I’ve gotten used to staying in. As paths cross we take away small nuggets of wisdom, knowledge and peace from each other. Please know I’m so grateful that our paths have crossed at this time and place.”

ACS, Worcester
Adult PHP Patient
January/February 2016