chamber of commerce

Mayo counseling program changes name, FOCUS
Tuesday, January 20, 2004
DOVER-FOXCROFT - A shift in focus has led to a name change for a Mayo Regional Hospital service that has long addressed substance abuse issues in Penquis region communities.

Mayo's former Substance Abuse Treatment Program has been renamed the Counseling Program, and now offers both Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services at its Basket House location on the hospital's West Main Street campus.

"The name change emphasizes our new focus as a dual-diagnosis service," said program director Tom Earley, Ph.D. "Many of the people who come to us with substance abuse issues also have mental health issues, most frequently depression, anxiety and family issues. These issues are often so intertwined that it makes little sense to treat them separately.

"Research suggests more and more that substance abuse and mental health issues need to be treated at the same time, rather than in sequence. We used to treat substance abuse first, then the co-occuring mental health issues, but in the last 10 years the emphasis has moved toward treating all these issues together," said Earley.

The program name change now stresses the actual service offered, rather than the primary issue being dealt with, added Earley, and more accurately reflects the composition of the Counseling Service staff.

Although the program is still licensed for substance abuse treatment, the Counseling Program has increased the credentials of its staff in order to also deliver the mental health services required in a dual-diagnosis model.

Earley, who was named program director a year ago, has completed a doctorate in professional counseling, and colleague Stephen Andrew, Ph.D., has his doctorate in counselor education. Both are certified clinical mental health counselors.

Other providers working out of the Counseling Program office include Renee Tash, a registered substance abuse counselor, and Janet Yelch-Weatherbee, a licensed clinical social worker who is affiliated with Dover-Foxcroft Family Medicine and deals strictly with mental health issues in her practice.

All Counseling Program services are provided with the utmost confidentiality. Appointments may be made by contacting 564-4276.

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