Adult Assertive Community Treatment
Adult Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) is an intensive, non-residential mental health service for persons with serious mental illness. These individuals commonly experience multiple barriers to successful functioning, including co-occurring substance abuse or dependence, homelessness and unemployment.
ACT services are:
- Provided by multidisciplinary team
- A blend of treatment, rehabilitation, therapeutic, and supportive services
- Directed to persons with a serious mental illness who require intensive services
- Offered on a time-unlimited basis and available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year.
How services work
ACT teams help persons treat and manage their mental illnesses and develop the skills they need for life in the community of their choice. Teams typically include a psychiatrist, mental health professionals, one or more nurses, substance abuse specialists, supported employment specialists, certified peer specialists, and other mental health professionals, practitioners, or rehabilitation workers.
ACT teams strive to help the person be successful with relationships, work, managing mental and physical health and everyday living. ACT helps shorten the use of inpatient psychiatric care; and to prevent inappropriate inpatient care, and homelessness.
ACT services are planned in close collaboration with each person receiving the service. If the person wishes, supportive family and friends can be included. Services are customized to fit each person’s unique set of needs, strengths and preferences. This may include any area affected by the mental illness; including symptom management, employment, housing, finances, education, medical and dental care, substance abuse, legal, family and social life, and activities of daily living.
A person who is eligible to receive ACT services must:
- Be 18 or older
- Be diagnosed with a primary mental illness such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar disorder and have substantial impairment, related to the illness, in several areas
- Have the need for mental health services that cannot be met with other available community-based services, or is likely to experience a mental health crisis or require a more restrictive setting.
Mental Health at DHS
The Department of Human Services (DHS) is dedicated to supporting adults, children and youth with a mental illness in their personal journey toward recovery, as well as preventing mental illness whenever possible.
People with mental illness have the same rights as anyone. DHS is committed to making sure individual choice is respected and that people with mental illness are able to live, learn, work, and enjoy life in their community to the best of their ability.
DHS oversees a number of publicly funded programs offering community-based mental health services, creating a continuum of services designed to meet the needs of individuals.