Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)
For those Saginaw County Community Mental Health Authority (SCCMHA) consumers with mental illnesses who have the most serious symptoms, Assertive Community Treatment (ACT), an evidence-based practice, provides intensive long-term and community-based clinical case management services. Contracted by Training & Treatment Innovations, Inc. (TTI), ACT can also help those with psychiatric and co-occurring substance use disorders.
According to Dan Durow, ACT Supervisor for TTI, the program is designed to help consumers in the recovery process develop skills that help them achieve greater independence, enhance their self-worth and increase their quality of life. It is a team-based treatment approach consisting of case managers, therapists, nurses, Certified Peer Supports and a psychiatrist. Consumers in ACT see case managers on a rotating basis, and the consumer’s team meets two to five times weekly to process and review the consumer’s needs and status.
“ACT works because we’re able to meet the consumers wherever they’re at,” Durow said. “I have an amazing staff and there’s no limit to the work that we do. We go with consumers to make sure they improve. We become a part of their lives.”
Durow has supervised the ACT program for TTI for four years and worked at SCCMHA for five years. ACT currently serves more than 50 individuals and includes eleven employees, including Durow. ACT staff members make home visits, which can vary from daily to several times per week and change as consumers’ needs change. Visits may include education on mental illness, physical health and/or medication, as well as monitoring for medication side effects and effectiveness.
Consumers also receive assistance in developing and building upon existing skills that will help them live independently in the community. These can include money management, supportive employment services, personal care and safety, self-management and general wellness. In addition, the ACT team may link consumers to community resources.
“Our goal is to give SCCMHA consumers the amount of community care they need,” Durow added. “It is also to help them have a life that isn’t only about their mental illness. The relationships made through the ACT approach have a clear effect on how well they do, and the program is also helpful with the quality of their life.”
For more information on ACT, contact SCCMHA at 800-258-8678.