Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) is a least-restrictive treatment alternative – directed at individuals who, without ACT, may find themselves in much more restrictive circumstances by way of their illness. Individuals are not discharged from the program due to not keeping appointments or not participating in treatment.

The level of engagement and motivation to receive services can vary across individuals, with reasons for poor engagement ranging from being something inherent to their illness (e.g., lack of insight) to a rational reaction to a service system that has been experienced negatively.

Retention of individuals is a high priority for ACT teams as the team cannot be of help to a person (e.g., keeping an apartment, getting a job, mending relationships) if the team can’t keep people enrolled in services. Persistent, caring attempts to engage people in treatment helps foster a trusting relationship between the person and the ACT team. Therapeutic limit-setting interventions may be necessary if collaborative interventions fail and/or risks are too high, and, when used, are eventually titrated down to more collaborative interventions to promote empowerment and autonomy.

Learn More about assertive engagement within ACT, including the use of motivational interventions and therapeutic limit-setting techniques through these resources.