Mental Health Systems held a ribbon cutting and open house to officially open Contra Costa Health Services’ Assisted Outpatient Treatment program (AOT) located at 2280 Diamond Blvd. #500, Concord on Thursday, March 10, 2016.
MHS’ Contra Costa ACTiOn Team – delivered through an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) model – provides AOT to individuals that qualify for AB1421 known as Laura’s Law. The California state law was named after Laura Wilcox, a mental health worker who was killed by a man who had refused psychiatric treatment. It allows for court-ordered assisted outpatient treatment. To qualify for the program, the person must have a serious mental illness plus a recent history of psychiatric hospitalizations, jailings or acts, threats or attempts of serious violent behavior towards self or others.
The Contra Costa ACTiOn Team is designed to help consumers that face mental health challenges find the support they need to live safely and productively within the community. The program will offer treatment to individuals who meet all nine criteria described in Laura’s Law when requested from family members, cohabitants, law enforcement, or mental health providers. While AOT can be a court-ordered process for treatment, the overall goal of this program is to make treatment available on a voluntary basis, where court order will be brought in as a last resort.
Participants of the program will collaborate with ACTiOn Team members to develop individualized treatment plans and receive 24-hour access to services. Services for this program may include outreach, engagement and support, group therapy, individual therapy, case management, employment and housing assistance, medication management, wellness coaching, independent living skills and community engagement. The program will eventually have the capacity to deliver care to up to 75 eligible adults for the first year.
“This program provides the evidence-based, highly effective practice of Assertive Community Treatment with intensive supportive services provided by a multi-disciplinary team,” Mental Health Systems Vice President Dr. Laura Otis-Miles said. “It is a valuable resource in Contra Costa County to help our clients and their families break the cycle of repeated hospitalizations, incarcerations, and homelessness.”
The Contra Costa Action Team is designed to help consumers that face mental health challenges find the support they need to live safely and productively within the community. This is the first Mental Health System’s program to come to the Bay Area.
Mental Health Systems (www.mhsinc.org) is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1978 to provide innovative and cost-effective behavioral health and drug and alcohol recovery services. Currently, MHS operates more than 80 community-based programs throughout California. Leading the field of nonprofit behavioral health services, our expertise and scope is unparalleled. MHS offers culturally appropriate, client-centered and strengths-based services in its programs for children, transition age youth, adults, older adults and families. While some services are available through private insurance or self-pay, most MHS programs are publicly funded and available to those who cannot afford privately paid services would be otherwise unable to receive them. All services are provided in a client-focused, compassionate manner that underscores MHS founding values of Integrity, Excellence, Hope, Action, Innovation and Dignity.