ACT teams provide is an all-encompassing treatment program focused on recovery for patients with severe mental illnesses who have very complex needs and have found it difficult to engage with other mental health services.
The team provides psychiatric treatment, administers and monitors medications, help to access community services and assists individuals in their activities of daily living. Support is provided as frequently as required and can include daily contact.
ACT teams are multidisciplinary teams with 10-12 staff that include a psychiatrist, nurses, social worker, peer support worker, occupational therapist, vocational specialist, addictions specialist, 2 other clinical staff (ie. recreational therapist) and a program assistant.
ACT team services are for adults and priority is given to individuals who have a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder or other severe mental illness who have had recent hospital admissions and high service needs.
Yes there is a lot of evidence that this treatment is very effective. Overall ACT services reduce time spent in hospitals, help with greater independent living skills, enhanced work and social functioning and greater client satisfaction. There is generally a >50% reduction in the number of hospital days for clients on ACT teams after 1 year and >80% reduction after that.
ACT clients often have issues in all domains of their life including: financial, housing, employment, family, friendships, and other medical issues. The ACT team works with their clients to create attainable goals every 6 months that touch many of these areas.
Yes. The family doctor is essential in providing assistance with all other areas of medical concern other than their psychiatric condition.
Involvement with an ACT team is voluntary and must be agreed upon by the client or their Substitute Decision Maker. A client can be served by the team for as long as needed. Typically after someone has been psychiatrically well for over 2 years there is an open discussion about planning for graduation from an ACT team.
Engagement with an ACT team will result in optimization of medications, minimization of side effects, improvement of psychiatric symptoms, development of a healthy life with better relationships with family and friends, participation in volunteer or paid work, maintenance of your home and finances, and help with diet and exercise. ACT will also ensure that primary care needs are met and provide counseling and psychotherapeutic treatments as needed.
Yes, families and the team need to work together as effective partners. Education and support is provided to clients and their families about psychiatric diagnosis, prognosis, management and treatment.
A family doctor, patient or family member can refer a client to an ACT team.
There are 80 ACT Teams across Ontario. Wait times vary depending upon your geographic location.