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Training and Consultation Services for ACT Teams
Sponsored by:

The NAMI Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)
Technical Assistance Center

What we offer:

A comprehensive approach to training new teams and providing support to quality improvement for existing teams, including six essential elements:

  • The development of an individualized team work plan, which identifies stages of development, challenges and opportunities and ACT training objectives
  • Orientation and training on operational start-up, the ACT model, and Team Leader and Psychiatrist roles in leading and managing the team in providing individualized treatment, rehabilitation and support to individuals served by the team
  • Side-by-side training for the entire team once it has begun serving clients
  • Off-site mentoring to the team leader and team for support, training and reinforcement of attitudes, knowledge, and skills needed to provide ACT services
  • Team leadership visit to and side-by-side training with an exemplary ACT team
  • Assistance with stakeholder advisory group development and role

Who we are:

Qualified ACT trainers are experts with extensive experience in community mental health services and in the development, operation and research of ACT programs.  Consultant backgrounds and training include nursing, social work, psychiatry, occupational therapy, vocational rehabilitation, forensic issues, substance abuse counseling, and public administration.  ACT trainers have provided training to teams in Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, among other states.   The PACT Model of Community-Based Treatment for Persons with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness: A Manual for PACT Start-Up forms the basis for training and technical assistance.

Our Mission:
The mission of ACT trainers is to lend experience and expertise to ACT team providers,  state policy makers, key stake-holders and community mental health providers for the development of exemplary Assertive Community Treatment programs, which are cost- effective, efficient, and valued by consumers, families, and communities.  ACT trainers focus on the development and identification of in-state ACT experts to ensure that the provider system has internal capacity for on-going training.

What you can expect from ACT operational start-up orientation and training:

General orientation to ACT using the National Recommended PACT Standards for New Teams and the PACT Start-up Manual as a guide for training

The role of the Team Leader and Psychiatrist.  Differences and similarities in roles.

Recovery and self-determination

Orientation to teamwork, shared responsibilities

Orientation to organizing the admissions, assessment and individualized treatment planning process

Orientation to the ACT organizational tools

Side-by-side training may consist of the following based on individual team needs or stage of development:

The vision of ACT and general orientation to ACT using the PACT Start-up Manual and Manual Review as a guide

Teamwork and team dynamics

Team Leader and Psychiatrist roles/ leadership issues

Role integration of specialists: vocational, substance abuse, nursing, and peer specialists

Managing admissions and completion of assessments (timelines, initial, and comprehensive)

Case conferences and individualized treatment planning

ACT organizational tools

Medication set up, administration and support

Individualizing employment

Other team needs as identified in work plan developed prior to side-by-side

Written report provided to team leadership upon completion of each side-by-side training event

What you can expect from off-site mentoring:

General support, training and problem solving by telephone with team leader

Off-site review and recommendations for policies and procedures

Visit to experienced ACT team to observe exemplary team practice, including case conferences and individualized treatment planning meetings to assist and reinforce skills related to the development of client specific, objective, and measurable treatment plans and weekly client schedules that tie directly to the treatment plan.

Off-site focused training events for team leadership and specialists, for example a statewide 2-day training for ACT team leaders

Recommended Training for New Teams:

First Year Start-up

First 2-3 day meeting at start-up with team leadership and team staff when the entire team has been hired and ideally before it begins serving clients.  Training emphasizes the ACT model and vision, organizational tools, team/organizational psychology, philosophy of client based services, integration of roles/team dynamics, assessment and individualized treatment planning. 

Second 2-3 day side-by-side training with the entire team with two trainers when team has been hired and is serving clients (2-3 months in operation). Concentrated training is on general services, organizing admissions, individualized treatment planning, daily teamwork, medication set-up, pharmacy issues, and employment.

Third 2 -3 day side by side occurs at six-nine months and primarily concentrates on individualized treatment planning and employment. 

Fourth 2-3 day side-by-side occurs at one year and focuses on evaluation and troubleshooting. 

Off-site mentoring includes monthly calls primarily with Team Leader to provide support and reinforce team attitudes, knowledge and skills related to ACT development.

Second Year

General training goal is to continue assisting the team in fully implementing ACT organizational tools, treatment, rehabilitation, and support. Consultants continue emphasis on organization of services, integration of roles, team building, individualized treatment planning, and employment services.  Staff turnover may have occurred during the first year, therefore, trainers may provide some re-orientation on organizational and model components.

Three, 2-3 day "side by side" trainings per program by a team of two consultants.

At least monthly telephone consults/mentoring focusing primarily on assessment, individualized treatment planning and organizational tools and processes issue related consultation with Team Leader.

Third Year

Two, 2-3 day "side by side" trainings per program by a team of two consultants.  Trainers emphasize evaluation, troubleshooting, and quality improvement.
As needed, off- site mentoring focusing on issues and needs identified by Team Leader.

Feedback from participants:

"As a Team Leader of a PACT Team completing its first year of implementation, I cannot imagine how our team could have made it without the instruction & guidance provided by (the lead consultant) and the team of PACT consultants. They provided us with the practical tools needed to implement a team, but also gave us a vision of hope that we could truly make a difference in the lives of the people we serve. We have already seen amazing results by using the PACT Model. We cannot thank them enough for all their invaluable assistance."
(Tom Economos, MPH, MSW; Team Leader - Tampa FACT Team, Psychotherapeutic Services of Florida)

"I cannot say enough how valuable your training and even your teaching method has been."  (Participant, Birmingham, AL)

"Invaluable information and experience that convinces me of the importance of being true to the PACT model.  I'm very thankful for the training at this time before we went any further."  (Participant, Birmingham, AL)

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