Nursing Leadership

Nursing Leadership 16(3) March 2003 : 59-61.doi:10.12927/cjnl.2003.20305

Commentary: Helping ACT Live Up to Its Potential

Judith Friedland

[This paper is a commentary on Developing Guidelines for an Interdisciplinary Practice Approach: Administration of Oral Medications in a Community Mental Health Setting by Margaret Gehrs and Tracey Holz.]

Ever since the "back wards" of mental hospitals were emptied in the late 1960s, we have been attempting to provide services to these severely and chronically ill individuals in the community. The mechanism that appears to have been the most successful is Programs of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT, or ACT programs), a model that was developed in the United States in the early 1970s. ACT teams have been implemented across Canada much more recently; there are now 60 such programs in Ontario, each with a mandate to provide community-based treatment, rehabilitation and support.

 

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