Acadia Family Center suspends clinical services



SOUTHWEST HARBOR — The Acadia Family Center, a nonprofit counseling, treatment and support center for addiction and mental health problem, has temporarily suspended its clinical services and is working with its roughly 40 clients to find new treatment options. 

The closure is necessary for two reasons, explained AFC board chairman Sam Hamill on Monday, noting a lack of clinical leadership as well as a need to reexamine its business model in the hopes of becoming more financially solvent. The closure of the clinical services will allow the current board of directors the ability to review and change its business model in a way that will allow it more access to public funding, Hamill said.  

Acadia Family Center has been operating in the community for the last four decades. It has been located on the Fernald Point Road since 2006. In addition to out-patient recovery services, it also operates an art therapy program and maintains prevention education in the local schools. Both the art therapy and school-based education programs will continue while the organization’s leadership charts its future course. AFC also maintains a fund to offer financial assistance for clients who cannot afford services.  

“AFC will retain all if its state licenses,” said Hamill. “We hope to be back online in a matter of months.” The organization is working with a consultant who will help the board members through the licensing hurdles and ensure that the board follows all the necessary legal requirements as its pauses its clinical services and transfers its patients elsewhere.  

The news comes as Maine faces its deadliest year on record for drug overdose deaths. With more than 455 deaths recorded from January through September, the total is roughly 20 percent higher than the same period in 2020. Overall, a record 504 people died of a drug overdose in 2020, a 33 percent increase over the 380 people who died of a drug overdose in 2019. 

Hamill said the organization’s governing board is committed to bringing back the clinical services in the future. “We have seen many clients improve their lives over the last 40 years and we are committed to these services and recognize the need for them in the community.” 

Faith DeAmbrose

Faith DeAmbrose

Managing Editor at Mount Desert Islander