20 W. Bank Street, Suite 6
Petersburg, Virginia 23803
Phone: (804) 722-4299
Fax: (804) 722-4290
The PACT program is comprised of multidisciplinary mental health professionals organized as a mobile unit to provide the treatment, rehabilitation, and support services that persons with severe mental illnesses need to live successfully in the community. The PACT program is also a licensed Intensive Community Treatment (ICT) program.
The primary goals of PACT treatment are:
It is important to emphasize that PACT is not a "linkage" or "brokerage" case management program that connects individuals to services provided by multiple mental health, housing, or rehabilitation agencies or programs in the community. The PACT multidisciplinary staff works as a "team" not a group of individual practitioners who operate in the context of a case management program and have primary responsibility only for their caseloads. The PACT team works collaboratively to deliver the majority of treatment, rehabilitation, and support services required by each client to live in the community. The team provides these necessary services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year.
The PACT team is the primary provider of services and has the responsibility to help clients meet needs in all aspects of living in the community. Having one team provide all key services minimizes the "fragmentation" and time-consuming coordination characteristic of traditional mental health systems in which there are multiple agencies and programs, each addressing only part of a client's needs for housing, employment services, or therapy.
The majority of PACT treatment and rehabilitation services take place in the community — that is, in the client's own residence and neighborhood, at employment sites in the community, and in the same places most people spend their leisure time. This mobile approach minimizes dropout of clients, enables the provision of psychosocial services wherever clients need to use them, and eliminates the need for transfer of learning, which has been difficult to achieve in persons with serious mental illnesses.
Individualization of treatment across clients and across time is fundamental to the PACT model given the great diversity among persons with severe mental illnesses and the fact that both clients and psychiatric conditions are changing. Individualization can occur only if the staff put in the time to really know the person and his or her family. Treatment interventions are tailored to address the current needs and preferences of the each individual rather than assigning clients in groups to "programs".
The PACT multidisciplinary clinical team assumes the responsibility to do whatever needs to be done to assist a person with mental illness in meeting his or her individual goals and service and treatment needs. The PACT team works to adapt the environment and themselves to meet the client's needs rather than requiring the client to adapt to or follow the rules of the treatment program. The rules ... for acceptable community behavior the PACT model uses are the general rules and responsibilities that apply to all citizens in the local community. In addition, the PACT team continuously provides the energy, persistence, and unconditional emotional support that clients need to develop, try, and evaluate more effective strategies and interventions to meet their individual aspirations and treatment and rehabilitation needs.
PACT services are intended primarily for individuals with psychiatric illnesses that are most severe and persistent, including the following psychiatric diagnoses from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM IV):
In addition, PACT services are appropriate for some people who experience significant disability from other disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, anorexia nervosa, borderline personality disorder, and dissociative identity disorder, and who have not been helped by traditional mental health services.
The program gives priority to referrals with a history of a) severe and persistent mental illness, b) significant functional disability, and c) a history of recurring state psychiatric hospitalization.
The elements of PACT treatment are:
Rehabilitation services include assistance with:
Support services include:
(Program description adapted from: Allness, D. & Knoedler, W. (1998). A Manual for PACT Start-Up. Arlington, VA: National Alliance for the Mentally Ill.)