Common Questions About Assertive Community Treatment

Who do we serve?

Adults who have been diagnosed with a serious mental illness. Specialty populations served by this program are those at risk for hospitalization or institutionalization; those who have criminal justice involvement; those who have not been successful with traditional mental health programs; and those who transitioned from institutional settings.

How do you get referred into the program?

Referrals come from state hospitals, group homes, acute psychiatric hospitals, and certain community providers.

What are admission criteria?

  • Adults ages 18 and older
  • Those at risk for hospitalization or institutionalization
  • Criminal justice involvement
  • Have not been successful with traditional mental health programs
  • Transitioning from institutional settings
  • Dual-diagnosed

What is Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)?

It is an intensive and highly integrated treatment approach for community mental health service delivery. ACT is one of the oldest and most widely researched evidence-based practices in behavioral healthcare for people with severe mental illness. ACT serve individuals whose symptoms of mental illness result in serious functioning difficulties in several major areas of life, often including work, social relationships, residential independence, money management and physical health and wellness. ACT’s explicit mission is to promote the participants' independence, rehabilitation, and recovery, and in so doing to prevent homelessness, unnecessary hospitalization, and other outcomes that impact recovery goals. In essence, ACT programs are “hospitals without walls” and aim to prevent participants from being incarcerated and hospitalized. ACT participation is voluntary and services are time unlimited (no end date of services necessary). However, clients may transition to higher or lower levels of care and even back into the ACT program from other levels of care such as residential services. ACT teams must have a Team Lead, Clinician, Nurse, Psychiatrist or Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Peer Support Specialist, Supported Employment Specialist, Case Manager and an Addictions Counselor. Other positions can also include a Housing Specialist or Supported Education Specialist. Contact is required with our multidisciplinary team for at least 120min/4x week. ACT strives to make 80% of their contacts community based. Essentially, we bring the services to our participants to the greatest extent possible, including home visits.

Why Assertive Community Treatment?

Research shows that ACT reduces hospitalization, increases housing stability, and improves quality of life for people with the most severe symptoms of mental illness. Basically, it works - in improving lives for individuals with the most severe symptoms of mental illness.