Programs that provide recovery-focused, high intensity, community based treatment, rehabilitation and support services for people with serious and persistent mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder. Services are provided in non-office settings by a multidisciplinary team whose members are trained in the areas of psychiatry, social work, nursing, substance abuse and vocational rehabilitation; and include treatment, help in managing symptoms of the illness, immediate crisis response, case management, peer support, medications, supportive therapy and practical on-site support in coping with day-to-day demands. ACT teams provide nearly all of the treatment and members work collaboratively as a team with blended roles, not as a group of individual practitioners who operate with primary responsibilities of their own. ACT community and clinical services are guided by the consumers' strengths and preferences, an assertive approach, individually tailored programming, ongoing monitoring, variable support, in vivo service, relating to consumers as responsible citizens, direct availability 24 hours per day, utilizing a variety of community resources and collaborating with the family. The ACT model is also known as the Program of Assertive Community Treatment or PACT.
Programs that provide clinical therapeutic services, medication, daily living skills assistance and other mental health services for people who are unable to leave their homes because of the severity of their mental or emotional disturbance or the disabling effects of complicating medical conditions; for families with children experiencing a crisis that is so severe that the child is at imminent risk for hospitalization or placement in a residential treatment facility; or for people for whom home-based services are the most appropriate option.
Programs that develop case plans for the evaluation, treatment and/or care of individuals who have mental, emotional or social problems and need assistance in arranging for services; which assess the individual's needs; coordinate the delivery of needed services; ensure that services are obtained in accordance with the case plan; and follow up and monitor progress to ensure that services are having a beneficial impact on the problem.
Programs that provide a therapeutic environment for individuals who have acute or chronic mental or emotional disturbances, who do not require full-time hospital care but who can benefit from a structured environment for some portion of the day or week. Services may include individual, group and/or family therapy; social and recreational activities; and a range of adjunctive therapies. Psychiatric day treatment programs may be offered by freestanding day treatment facilities, by psychiatric hospitals or by psychiatric units in general acute care hospitals.
Programs that prescribe antidepressants, antianxiety drugs, antimaniacs, sedatives and antipsychotic/neuroleptic medications to control symptoms such as delusions, extreme agitation, panic attacks, manic or depressive episodes, hallucinations or paranoia that are associated with specific forms of mental illness. Services may include a psychiatric evaluation to determine the need for medication; prescription of an appropriate drug; and periodic follow-up to monitor the effectiveness of the medication in modifying the individual's behaviour, ensure that undesirable side effects are minimized and verify that medication is, in fact, being taken as prescribed.
Programs that integrate treatment strategies associated with psychiatry, occupational therapy and psychiatric case management to help severely mentally ill individuals stabilize their clinical status, increase their ability to function within their environment with as little ongoing professional intervention as possible, and improve their overall quality of life. Services are provided within an intensive case management system and may include medication and supportive psychotherapy to alleviate symptoms; training in interpersonal and independent living skills with a focus on personal care and management, leisure skills, social interaction skills and vocational preferences and aptitudes; cognitive retraining; family psychoeducation; peer support; and assistance in gaining access to the resources and benefits to which they are entitled. The individual is actively involved in developing the treatment plan and selecting the types of training that will be relevant to his or her ongoing roles and relationships.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.