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James Plastiras Director of Public Information New York State Office of Mental Health 518-474-6540 james.plastiras@omh.ny.gov

May 17, 2024

New York State Announces $2.7 Million Available to Develop New Flexible Assertive Community Treatment Teams

Evidence-Based Program to Provide Services to Difficult-to-Engage New Yorkers Living with Serious Mental Illness Throughout Their Recovery

New York State today announced up to $2.7 million is available to develop Flexible Assertive Community Treatment teams to serve New Yorkers living with serious mental illness, but who are disengaged from the traditional system of care. Administered by the state Office of Mental Health, the funding will help establish 37 multidisciplinary teams, which will have the flexibility to provide critical outpatient mental health services based on the evolving needs of the individuals enrolled for treatment.

“ACT teams engage people with mental illness in their own homes and communities and provide services when and where the client wants and needs them,” Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan said. “These new Flexible ACT teams will work with individuals to help them develop the skills they can use to lead successful and independent lives.”

OMH-licensed service providers can apply for $75,000 in start-up funds to create 37 Flexible Assertive Community Treatment teams, which are based on the evidence-based model also known as ACT. These teams, however, incorporate greater flexibility so that individuals served by them can receive services based on their changing needs, ensuring that mental health services evolve as the client progresses and their treatment needs change.

Flexible ACT teams offer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and meet daily to review every individual in their caseload, providing a level of accountability that allows for immediate changes in service planning and leads to improved outcomes for clients. Most services provided by the teams are offered in the individuals’ home or community, which allows newly acquired living skills to be applied in their own real-world environment and situations.

Over the past seven years, New York State has significantly increased the licensed ACT teams in operation. There are now 124 licensed teams, including 68 in New York City alone, providing mobile, high intensity services to the most at-risk New Yorkers.

Those enrolled in ACT teams tend to have more engagement with mental health care providers; improved housing stability and employment status; and fewer visits to emergency rooms or psychiatric hospitalizations, according to data collected by ACT teams and submitted to OMH’s Child and Adult Integrated Reporting System. And at discharge, a lower percentage of ACT participants reported recent homelessness, psychiatric hospitalization and substance use compared to their status at admission.

Governor Kathy Hochul’s $1 billion plan to strengthen New York’s continuum of mental health care calls for establishing 42 additional ACT teams. These multidisciplinary, evidence-based teams provide comprehensive and flexible treatment, support, and rehabilitation services to individuals in their community.


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