Assertive Community Treatment
Assertive community treatment provides comprehensive, community based psychiatric treatment, rehabilitation and support for individuals with serious mental illnesses. People with severe mental illnesses have the greatest problems with basic daily activities such as caring for themselves and keeping themselves safe, physical needs and maintaining a safe place to live. Some of the common problems that these people may experience are unemployment, criminal involvement, substance abuse and homelessness. ACT is a more intense type of therapy that helps address the individual’s problems that may have been missed in traditional therapy sessions.
How is Assertive Community Treatment Different From Other Mental Health Treatments?
Assertive community treatment is different from other mental health treatments because it is a more intense process. ACT is a team based approach that helps people suffering from mental health issues get in contact with with other services, reduce their hospital admissions and improve the overall outcome. The ultimate goal is for the individual to live a positive and fulfilling quality of life. Even though this is the same goal of other mental health treatment programs, this treatment involves more intense therapy and a large network of people to work with. Typically, there are 10 to 12 experienced staff members that will deliver the services to the individual.
ACT services are also available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. The team will often meet with the person multiple times per day, depending on the individual’s needs. Close monitoring is important in this type of therapy since different problems can occur at different times.
Assertive Community Treatment involves:
Individual, comprehensive and flexible treatment, support and rehabilitation
Team members are the direct service providers
The team is the fixed point of responsibility for services
Services are always provided on an unlimited time basis
As mentioned above, the goals for ACT are to keep the individual with serious mental illness in contact with other services in their community, reduce hospitalizations visits and cost and improve their quality of life. In an addition to these goals, ACT recipients are also empowered to make decisions in their treatment and given full responsibility for their actions and their journey along the way. The individual will learn how live independently, gain the education they need for career enhancement, obtain employment, gain positive relationships and avoid future relapses and other spirit braking situations.
Who Is The Perfect Candidate For ACT?
The perfect candidate for assertive community treatment is for anyone experiencing severe and persistent symptoms of mental illness. This type of treatment is for an individual that finds managing their symptoms difficult or unable to make them fully go away. It is common for these type of people to have troubles taking care of their basic life necessities. There are many people who before they entered into the ACT program, spent most of their time either in a psychiatric hospital or living in the street. Many individuals with severe mental health issues also have severe problems with alcohol and drug abuse. These other problems can cause a more severe case and make it a harder cycle to break.