Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)
Assertive Community Treatment originated and is still used as a community-based alternative to hospitalization for people struggling with mental illness. In the past, dedicated hospitals would provide treatment to patients with mental health conditions. However, ACT works to help these individuals by delivering their care in a community setting and home-based location, rather than a residential setting that may not be the best fit for them. This is a decades-old, evidence-based practice in which each individual case is built to suit the individual in need. Case managers work with small case loads and take a multidisciplinary team approach to treatment. This can include multiple forms of cognitive therapy and collaboration within and even outside of the organization. Oftentimes, a care team includes a minimum of two case managers, a nurse, and a psychiatrist.
ACT provides a wide range of services that are intended to meet the client’s essential needs while they focus on recovery and personal health management. Such programs can often be long-term, with 24-hour support, though the goal is to gradually phase each client out of their respective programs. ACT treatment can include the following:
- Mental health counseling
- Housing and daily living skills assistance
- Socialization and community building activities
- Employment assistance
- Crisis intervention and substance abuse treatment