ACT Center of Indiana

The ACT (Assertive Community Treatment) Center of Indiana is a research and training center focused on evidence-based mental health practices that support recovery in adults with severe mental illnesses.  We began as a collaboration of the Department of Psychology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and Adult & Child Mental Health Center of Indianapolis.  Our current partners include the Center for Health Information and Communication (CHIC) at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center.  Our academic partners also now include the School of Social Work at IUPUI, the Center for Health Policy, and the Indiana University Sociology Department.  We have active research and training projects with a variety of other mental health centers and university-based researchers.

Our approach is to combine training and implementation with ongoing program evaluation and research. Our center is comprised of a team of researchers, clinicians, consultants, educators, consumers, and family members who have experience in assertive community treatment (ACT) and other evidence-based practices. The team includes faculty from the departments of psychology, social work, nursing, and sociology who between them have published hundreds of articles. The team also includes clinicians with years of direct clinical experience. This professional diversity contributes to the breadth of knowledge and experience of our center.

A Brief History

In the summer of 2001, Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) launched an initiative to create a network of assertive community treatment (ACT) teams across the state. To help support that effort, DMHA funded us as a technical assistance center to provide training, consultation, and program evaluation for ACT teams in Indiana.  We helped support the effort, from 3 initial ACT programs in 2001, to approximately 30 ACT programs.  The state support for our center ended December 2009.  Our training services are still available, but are no longer free to Indiana programs.

In 2002, we began supporting Integrated Dual Disorders Treatment (IDDT) programs -- a result of our being selected to participate in the larger National Implementing Evidenced Based Practices Project.  We often work with colleagues at the Ohio SAMI Coordinating Center of Excellence to provide training in IDDT and related practices.

In 2003, we began helping programs implement Illness Management and Recovery (IMR) through two federally-funded grant projects – one of which focused on peer recovery specialists on ACT teams. We are now working with several VA Medical Centers to implement IMR, including a randomized controlled trial at the Roudebush VAMC. 

In 2007, we were awarded an Interventions and Practice Research Infrastructure Program from the National Institute of Mental Health. This 5-year grant (Recovery Oriented Assertive Community Treatment) provides research infrastructure to our center, helps integrate research and practice at our partner agency, and support pilot projects to help ensure that ACT programs support recovery from severe mental illness. Several of these studies extend beyond ACT.

In 2008, we were selected as an IUPUI Signature Center to recognize our unique contribution and help expand our work in family involvement in recovery.  We recently conducted a pilot study of the NAMI Provider Education Program as a potential way to increase family involvement.

Mental Health spelled out in scrabble tiles

Mental Health Collaboration

2 scientists collaborating on work for Psychology

The ACT Center has partnerships with many universities and clinical organizations across the country to share and explore mental health research.

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Student opportunities

From volunteering to working part-time at the lab, the ACT center offers opportunities for School of Science undergraduate and graduate students to get involved.

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Michelle Salayers, PhD and director of the ACT Center holds up a sign that says 'ACT Works!'

The ACT Center focuses on research that supports recovery from severe mental illnesses and how patients, service providers, programs, and policy come together for solutions. Giving to ACT helps support our invaluable research!

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