UNC ACT Technical Assistance Center launches state-wide training

The new technical assistance center will support ACT teams by providing ongoing program evaluation and quality improvement consultation.

On March 7 and 8, the Center’s Assertive Community Treatment Technical Assistance (ACT TA) Center in collaboration with the North Carolina Division of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), kicked off its training program at the Radisson Hotel in Research Triangle Park, N.C. The two-day workshops, designed specifically for North Carolina ACT teams, and managed care organization staff, attracted more than 200 individuals from around the state.

ACT teams are comprised of psychiatrists, nurses, social workers and other professionals who help adults with severe mental illness live in their homes instead of an institution. The integrated team provides an array of services from managing medicine to helping with finding competitive employment.

Lorna Moser, PhD, program director and assistant professor of psychiatry, in the UNC Department of Psychiatry, led the presentations. Participants learned about the nationally recognized Tool for Measurement of ACT (TMACT) and how its use can guide implementation of higher quality ACT practice across North Carolina.

TMACT was created by Moser and her colleagues, Maria Monroe-DeVita, PhD, in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle and Gregory Teague, PhD, in the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy, University of South Florida, Tampa. It ensures a high-level standard of evidence-based care.  Monroe-DiVita and Teague also participated in the training program.

“Higher fidelity ACT practice can result in improved consumer outcomes and ACT providers need sufficient support to provide optimal care,” says Moser.

The new technical assistance center will support ACT teams by providing ongoing program evaluation and quality improvement consultation. It is funded by NCDHHS as part of an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, which requires that North Carolinians with severe mental illness have access to community based services, including ACT teams. These teams must follow a recognized national model. Contact Lorna_moser@med.unc.edu or stacy_smith@med.unc.edu for information.