Authors: Luis Enrique Albornoz, Kirrily Warner, Bethany Pade
Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Service Systems, Delivery, Implementation, Change, Innovation, Reform, Research & Evaluation Informing Practice
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The assertive community treatment (ACT) model is a widely researched model for case management both in Australia and abroad in community mental health. It's a treatment approach to community care widely supported for working with people with severe mental illness and in recent years become more prevalent with new teams emerging around Sydney. However, it is an approach requiring large amounts of funding and resources which are often difficult to come by in mental health services where traditional case management models are core practice.
This paper will propose how the principles of ACT can be successfully utilised within existing services with limited access to further enhancements or resources, as well as detail the experiences with the development and ongoing implementation and evaluation of the St Marys Assertive Community Treatment Team which has operated since 2012.
The aim of the team is to utilise the ACT model and provide an intensive level of support to consumers who historically have poor engagement with services, high service users and have various complex needs. Evaluation findings have demonstrated sustained benefits to both consumers and the service and positive results in all aspects of the program including, engagement, accommodation, acute service use, admission rates and overall improvements in the lives of the consumers we support.
Learning Objective 1: Members of the audience will gain a clear understanding of how the principles of assertive community treatment can be effectively utilised within available resources to work with people who have a serious and persistent mental illness to improve their capacity to function independently and become active members of their community.
Learning Objective 2:This topic is relevant to current practice as the model of assertive community treatment is one of the most internationally researched and evidence based models in community mental health care. Both national and state mental health documents make reference to and encourage the use of this model as current best practice. This is in line with Living Well: A Strategic Plan for Mental Health in NSW 2014-2024 document released by the NSW MH commission which refers to the development of “an effective community system wraps services and support around people living with severe mental illness. This includes assertive outreach, with mobile treatment and crisis resolution teams and whole-of-person support services”.
Bond, G. R. (2002). Assertive community treatment for people with severe mental illness. Indianapolis, IN: Purdue University Indianapolis.
Rosen, A., Mueser, K. T., & Teesson, M. (2007). Assertive community treatment – Issues from scientific and clinical literature with implications for practice. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, 44, 813-826.
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