Aftercare programs for people with a mental disorder
Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)
Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) is a program offered to adults with severe mental disorder in an unstable and fragile state requiring very intensive services. The program is designed to offer them treatment, to help them to recover, to return to live in the community and to increase their independence. The services, treatment intensity and meeting places are adapted to each person’s needs.
The ACT interdisciplinary team is composed of a variety of health professionals such as physicians, psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, addiction specialists, community and work re-entry counsellors, peer support workers and others. According to the person’s specified needs, some professionals have a greater number of contacts with the person. Different organizations are also called upon to contribute complementary interventions.
The Assertive Community Treatment program is part of an array of mental health care and services offered in the health and social services system.
By building upon the strengths of the person and of their loved ones, ACT offers intervention strategies that are oriented towards the person’s recovery process and aimes at constantly improving their quality of life so that they can develop the necessary skills to live a meaningful life within their community.
The program is intended mainly for adults and young adults who have a severe psychotic or bipolar disorder and active symptoms that significantly and persistently affect their daily functioning and who may have the following characteristics:
- not responsive to traditional psychiatric treatment;
- functionally incapable of performing activities of daily living (ADL) or household chores;
- dealing with substance abuse issues;
- behavioural problems that could affect their ability to live in the community;
- at risk of experiencing homelessness;
- involved in the criminal justice system.
ACT offers integrated services including treatment, psychosocial rehabilitation and sustained recovery support/coaching.
The rehabilitation activities offered by ACT teams include:
- assistance with medication management;
- assistance with financial management;
- assistance with activities of daily living and household chores;
- assistance with the search for housing and employment;
- provision of medical visit companions
- education on their mental disorder and their rights;
- help with psychosocial crisis resolution.
A treatment plan is developed in close collaboration with the person, ensuring that it respects their choices and preferences. The team members also offer support to the person's family and social circle, in accordance with the rules of confidentiality.
Access to the program
To access the ACT program, you do not need a medical referral. You can talk it over with your doctor or a social worker. You can also directly contact the ACT team in your area. If you do not have their contact information, reach out to the psychosocial reception desk at your CLSC or Info-Social 811. They will put you in touch with the people who can respond to your request.
Last update: August 9, 2022