Fort Kent

NMMC to increase providers for greater access to mental health

FORT KENT, Maine — Recognizing that mental health is underserved across the country, Northern Maine Medical Center announced an initiative to expand its provider team to better serve individuals and families dealing with mental health issues.

Peter Sirois, president and CEO said, “We are strategically expanding our behavioral health provider team to improve access to care for our patients. Our most recent Community Health Needs Assessment identified that we needed to take a look at increasing access to services in the area of mental health.”

In addition to the recent addition of two mental health nurse practitioners, Crystal Hughes, Licensed Master Social Worker, has joined the Behavioral Health Team where she will be providing outpatient therapy for children, adolescents and adults.

In its 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that one in five adults in the United States experience mental illness each year. Further, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2017 that suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34. More than twice as many suicides are reported annually in the United States than homicides.

Hughes recently earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Maine. Since 2003, she has worked with various population groups, including the management of conditions for individuals in long term care, acute inpatient rehabilitation and inpatient psychiatry. She has been a leading advocate in creating awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and she led the successful annual Memory Walk for several years. Hughes’ work will focus on the treatment of clients who are experiencing any number of challenges, such as anxiety, depression, grief and loss, trauma and co-occurring substance and mental health disorders. She will provide individual psychotherapy for: children and adults with depression, bipolar, anxiety and mood disorders, emotion-regulation, trauma related disorders, behavioral disorders, self-esteem and relationship conflicts, among other difficulties.

Her approach to treatment includes cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, strengths based perspective and solution focused therapies.

Hughes said, “The goal of therapy is to assist clients with effectively creating, obtaining and maintaining treatment goals, while encouraging change and acceptance. I believe therapy is about supporting the healthy growth and well-being of an individual in a non-judgmental relationship. Therapy is a unique opportunity to engage in self exploration to make sense of your experience in the world, and learn to utilize skills in understanding how our thoughts, moods and behaviors are interconnected.”

Hughes is accepting new patients.

To make an appointment, call 207-834-3101. To learn more about Northern Maine Medical Center’s many other services, to make a donation or to learn about volunteer opportunities, visit and “like” us on Facebook.

Submitted by the Communications Office of Northern Maine Medical Center.

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your 4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.