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Building Trust through Assertive Community Treatment 

02/27/2024
Program Highlight - Building Trust through Assertive Community Treatment

SouthLight’s Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Team provides a person-centered, recovery-based approach to treatment for individuals who have been provided with a diagnosis of Severe and Persistent Mental Illness. Program Supervisor David Schwenk shares insights in this month’s Program Spotlight.

Meaningful Engagement with Those Experiencing Mental Illness

Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) is a form of engaging with members of the community who experience symptoms of Severe and Persistent Mental Illness in ways that are effective and accessible for the unique challenges inherent in this population.

The highest level of care in an outpatient setting, ACT teams are a comprehensive team of professionals and paraprofessionals tasked with providing “wrap-around” services for individuals who, at a time in the not-so-recent past, would have been relegated to inpatient treatment facilities for the balance of their adult lives.

ACT teams allow individuals to truly access care “where they are” in all facets of their lives.

Providing Support & Opportunity Through Assertive Community Treatment

From meeting with unhoused persons in public spaces or homeless shelters, to slowly building rapport to build trust and acceptance in an underserved and ill-treated population, ACT teams provide support and opportunity for individuals to access care in multiple dimensions to develop stability and insight into their concerns.

Expanding ACT Services and Access to Care

SouthLight’s newest efforts in this realm have expanded ACT services into Cumberland and Harnett Counties, a location sorely lacking in many traditional forms of higher-level outpatient treatment options. Without dedicated mental health and substance use-related inpatient facilities in these regions, traditional forms of emergency access such as the emergency department at Cape Fear Valley Hospital become significantly overstressed.

SouthLight’s ACT services in these areas will offer an alternative to individuals who would traditionally attempt to navigate their higher-level needs via hospitals.

The ACT team provides the same depth and degree of care for members that they would receive within a hospital-type setting while assisting with independent living skills to establish an independent presence within their communities.

SouthLight has expanded its ACT services into new areas based on the foundational values and intent of the Assertive Community Treatment model developed in the 1970s. Our teams aim to offer in-depth, intentional wrap-around support in the communities chosen by individuals, rather than relying on a system that may not meet their needs adequately.

Make a Referral with Our Assertive Community Treatment Team

To make a referral in Wake County, call the ACT team administrator at (984)-268-1262

To make a referral in Cumberland or Harnett Counties, call their ACT team administrator at (984) 310-6525.

Read about SouthLight’s Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Team, and our referral criteria.

David Schwenk, SouthLight Program Supervisor, Enhanced Community Services

David Schwenk, Program Supervisor, Enhanced Community Services

“The most unexpected discoveries I have uncovered are the strength and determination, the resourcefulness and pure grit of the people we serve.”
—David Schwenk