About Mental Health Association in North Carolina

Their Mission

Their Mission is to promote mental health, prevent mental disorders & eliminate discrimination against people with mental disorders.
They accomplish these goals through community advocacy, education, and service.


Assertive Community Treatment Team (ACTT)

In light of the current divesture and mental health reform, there is a serious shortage of available resources that can adequately meet the needs of consumers that have a severe and persistent mental illness. These individuals face insurmountable challenges in gaining access to appropriate services that can not only meet their mental health needs, but their basic needs as well.

In response to these needs, the MHA/NC has developed plans and procedures to create Assertive Community Treatment Teams (ACTT) across the State. Assertive Community Treatment Teams is a Medicaid-based service (with approximately 10% indigent) that provides around the clock, comprehensive outpatient mental health treatment, including medication, counseling, case management, psychosocial rehabilitation, supported employment, family support and other support services to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness. These teams seek to treat the total person, expanding on the consumer’s support system and social network. Assertive Community Treatment Team consumers frequently have dual diagnoses of substance abuse and developmental disabilities, and, typically, have been hospitalized many times. Many of these individuals have a history of poor treatment compliance, which contributes to exacerbations of symptoms, and the need for further hospital admissions.

A standard ACTT consists of a psychiatrist, registered nurse, case manager, therapist, social worker, substance abuse counselor, and job coach. Requirements are to provide a minimum of four face-to-face contacts per consumer per month. The MHA/NC’s objective is to:

- Decrease the consumer’s psychosis and hospitalizations
- Help consumers maintain a substance-free life style and good health status
- Minimize consumer involvement with law enforcement and criminal justice
- Help consumers acquire and keep jobs, maintain decent and affordable housing, and meet other individual goals.
- Provide treatment to consumers in their homes, jails, assisted living facilities, shelters, and other community locations.

The mission of ACTT is to help people with severe and persistent mental illness, including dual diagnosis, achieve respect, stability, security, and a decent quality of life. The ACTT assists in preparing consumers with the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve recovery.

Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services (PSR)

The primary objective of PSR is to provide structured rehabilitation activities for adults with severe and persistent mental illness. The program assists consumers in developing their social, vocational, educational, recreational, and independent living skills. Recovery services are designed to help clients improve the management of their illnesses and to maximize their long-term recovery. These services are available in a licensed community setting for five or more hours a day. The MHA/NC provides Psychosocial Rehabilitation services through contractual arrangements with Local Management Entities throughout the state.

Many of the people that the MHA/NC serves have come to the PSR from a recent psychiatric hospitalization or have been isolated in their homes. Because of this, the PSR services are organized around major areas of need. The members learn daily living skills such as grocery shopping, cooking, budgeting, house cleaning, banking, and social skills. Members are offered educational opportunities both within the clubhouse and in cooperation with local community colleges. The PSRs also provide information in nutrition, wellness education, and physical education. In addition, members are involved in all aspects of the clubhouse operation such as administrative work, kitchen work, snack bars, thrift store work, etc.
Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services uses research developed at the federally funded Centers for Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Research. These Centers offer the latest in best practice research and training materials to meet the needs of persons with serious mental illness. All of these services are individualized based upon the needs of each client.

The Residential Services Program

The Residential Services Program was initiated in 1986 to develop appropriate, affordable housing throughout North Carolina for persons with long-term mental illnesses. The goal of the program is to provide a variety of residential services in the least restrictive settings. These services include:

- HUD 811 – constructs new apartments and group homes
- HOME – purchases and rehabilitates existing homes for families
- Shelter + Care – targets homeless persons with mental illness
- “Kids” Program – group homes for children and youth

Initial funds for the development of these programs were provided by the Kate B. Reynolds Health Care Trust. Once all existing projects are operational, over 1,200 individuals in North Carolina with mental illnesses will have a place to call home.