Sara 2019

Think You Might Need an Advocate? Here's What You Can Expect When Calling DRM

Posted on February 26, 2018

by Sara Squires

Recently, I was going through old files (the constant battle of me v. paperwork) when I came across a newsletter article about our intake process that was written back in 2006 – 12 years ago!  In reading the article, I was reminded of how much has changed over the years, starting with the fact that our name used to be the Disability Rights Center.  When the article was written, DRM was in its first year of offering patient advocacy services at Riverview Psychiatric Center (DDPC).  Today, we have patient advocates at both Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center and Acadia Hospital, as well as RPC.  In the years since, DRM expanded its programs and now offers Developmental Services Advocacy, Children's Advocacy, and an array of Deaf Services programs.  Despite the fact that this article was written over a decade ago, the work we do remains the same and the information is still relevant today.  So, whether you’re calling DRM for the first time or you’ve if received advocacy services in the past, asking for help can be scary.  With that in mind, here are a few things to know when you call for an intake. 

  1. When you call DRM for assistance, you will be asked to schedule an appointment to speak with one of our intake coordinators.
    • Intakes are scheduled in 30-minute blocks and are typically done
      over the phone, although sometimes people prefer to speak with someone in-person. 
    • If you would like to meet with an intake coordinator, please let the receptionist know. 
    • If a certain time of day or day of the week is better for you, please let us know.  We will make every effort to work with your schedule.

  2. The receptionist will ask you for the following: your name, your contact information (address, phone number, email, etc.), date of birth and your disability.  Although the receptionist will schedule you for an intake, she cannot provide you with any information about your situation.  We understand that you may want to tell her your story, but she does not write down this information or share it with the intake coordinator.  In the end, you’ll have to tell your story all over again and we want to be sure this doesn’t happen to you.

  3. Caseworkers and other service providers are welcome to schedule intakes for their clients.  We are more than happy to talk with you about the situation and will follow up with the individual and/or their parent/legal guardian, as needed.

  4. DRM’s intake coordinators are not attorneys.  Although they are able to provide you with information & resources, they cannot give you legal advice.  The purpose of an intake is to determine whether the issue you are calling about is something that DRM may be able to assist with.  Although your appointment will not be with an attorney, our managing attorneys review intakes and approve cases for opening.

  5. If we are not able to offer you direct advocacy assistance at this time, our intake staff will provide you with referrals to other agencies that may be able to assist you.  In addition to providing you with information over the phone, we will also send you a follow-up letter.  This letter will list any referrals we have made, and may also include written material regarding your rights, resource guides, or referral lists for private attorneys.

  6. If your issue is one we believe we may be able to assist with, DRM will send a letter stating that your issue has been referred for further review.  It is important that you read this letter carefully.  Once you have read the letter, please sign it and send it back to our office.  There may also be releases enclosed with this letter.  Please be sure to sign and return these, as well.

If you do not understand the letter, or if you have ANY questions, please call our office at 1.800.452.1948

If, at any time, you have questions about the status of your intake or want to know what is going on with your case, please call our office and speak with the receptionist.

Have questions about DRM's intake process? Please feel free to email me at