Hamilton Center, Inc. Announces ACT Program - November, 2002
Lia Hicks, a Consultant and Trainer for the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Center of Indiana, joined Hamilton Center, Inc. in “kicking off” the ACT pilot program in Vigo County. Clients of mental health services, families, providers, community referring agencies and others learned about the ACT’s philosophy and positive impact it will have on people suffering from a serious mental illness in the community.
ACT is a researched-based, outreach service delivery model for people with severe and persistent mental illnesses. Using a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week team approach, ACT delivers comprehensive community based treatment, rehabilitation, and other support services to consumers in their homes, at work, and in other community settings.
Hamilton Center’s ACT team consists of five case managers, two nurses, a therapist, an employment specialist, a psychiatrist, an addictions counselor, and a support staff person. The team currently serves 50 clients with capacity of no more than 120. The program targets persons with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Most of these clients have been in and out of psychiatric hospitals and need more intensive services than traditional office based services can provide.
Other unique features of ACT include: clients receive all of their services from the ACT team and not from multiple, and sometimes loosely linked mental health, substance abuse, and rehabilitation services; treatment members are available 24 hours a day for crisis; services are always individualized and often unconventional; services are delivered in natural settings (home, community etc.) to aid the client in living with a greater degree of independence and self worth.
ACT, now in its 30th year, has been researched in Madison Wisconsin, where it originated, and at other replicated sites across the country. It is one of only a few community mental health program models with an extensive research base. Findings from ongoing National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) research, comparing ACT clients with persons whose primary treatment site was the hospital, support the program’s success. ACT brings opportunities for recovery and improved quality of life to people with severe psychiatric disorders who do not respond to traditional treatment.
For additional information call Hamilton Center at (812) 231-8200 or (800) 742-0787.
Community Treatment (ACT) Services
History of Success
ACT has 30 years of documented success. It is one of only a few community mental health program models with an extensive research base. Findings from ongoing National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) research, comparing ACT clients with persons whose primary treatment site was the hospital, indicate the program’s success. ACT brings opportunities for recovery and improved quality of life to people with severe psychiatric disorders who do not respond to traditional treatment.
- ACT clients spend much less time in hospitals and more time in independent living, spend less time unemployed, earn more from competitive employment, have more positive social relationships, enjoy greater satisfaction with life, and have fewer symptoms of severe mental illness.
- In one study, only 18% of ACT clients were hospitalized the first year compared with 89%of the non-ACT treatment group. For those ACT clients who were re-hospitalized, stays were significantly shorter than stays of the non-ACT group.
- ACT clients spend more time in the community, but the impact on family and community residents was no greater.
- The ACT model has shown an economic advantage over institutional care. In a Veterans’ Administration study over two years, ACT costs were $33,296 less per consumer than standard care.
- In a landmark five-year NIMH funded study by the Schizophrenia Patient Outcomes Research Team, scientists reviewed current evidence documenting the most effective treatments for schizophrenia. Along with appropriate and careful use of antipsychotic medications, the study endorses the comprehensive approach of ACT as a treatment model of proven benefit to people with schizophrenia.
was compiled from The PACT Advocacy Guide from NAMI. For additional information,
contact NAMI Assertive Community Treatment Technical Assistance Center,
2107 Wilson Blvd., Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22201-3042.
Phone number (866) 229-6264