What is Assertive Community Treatment?
Assertive Community Treatment is an evidence-based practice that was designed specifically for people who experience severe and persistent symptoms of mental illness and addiction. Due to the severity of their symptoms, individuals with co-occurring disorders often have problems taking care of even their most basic needs. Substance use, homelessness, and problems with the legal system are not uncommon. The goal of Assertive Community Treatment is to help individuals to develop skills for living in the community so that their lives are not driven by their mental illness.
Assertive Community Treatment at WestBridge
WestBridge’s outpatient programs, referred to as Care Management, are based on the Assertive Community Treatment model. Teams of Care Managers customize services for each participant, creating Personalized Achievement Agendas that change over time as the participant progresses through treatment. The level of care that participants receive varies in terms of intensity based on the needs of each individual, which are determined collaboratively between the participant, his or her family, and the WestBridge clinical team.
Key features of WestBridge’s Assertive Community Treatment approach are:
- An interdisciplinary team of practitioners works with each individual, so the participant is able to receive a variety of services from the same group of people.
- ACT teams work with participants in community settings.
- Services are available whenever and wherever they are needed; Care Managers are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
- There are no time limits to how long participants may receive services. Treatment is provided for as long as they are wanted and needed.
In each of WestBridge’s outpatient programs, services are designed to address a wide variety of daily living needs, which include:
- Physical Health
- Medical Care & Medication Support
- Vocational Counseling & Career Development
- Housing Maintenance & Stability
- Financial Management
- Substance Abuse & Mental Health Counseling
- Self-help Group Identification & Accompaniment
- Family Education & Support
- Symptom Management
- Recreation & Leisure Activities
- Coordination of Services with Other Providers
Extensive research has demonstrated that these ACT services are extremely effective for people with co-occurring disorders who need extra support to live independently and gain recovery skills.