We are excited to announce that one of RHA’s Assertive Community Treatment Teams (ACTT) recently accepted an award from the Carbon-Monroe-Pike Mental Health and Developmental Services Advisory Board recognizing their outstanding contribution to the community!
RHA’s ACT Teams are groups of mental health professionals that work 24/7/365 to offer a full range of support services to people with serious or persistent mental illness and/or behavioral health needs. The award-winning team, located in Stroudsburg, PA, has been an active part of its community since its inception in 2010. They provide services in Carbon, Monroe, and Pike counties. Ashley Lerner, Operations Director of the ACT Team, says they most often meet with individuals dealing with mental health or housing crises. The team connects them with resources to help them live active, meaningful lives, integrated in their community. ACT Teams travel to people to provide personalized care with no waiting list, no time limit, and with an emphasis on community support. After receiving ACTT services, people supported often report a significant reduction in crisis situations such as homelessness, incarceration or repeat-hospitalizations.
The multi-functional Stroudsburg team consists of a team leader and assistant, mental health professionals, nurses, and housing, vocational, drug/alcohol, and certified peer specialists. Lerner attributes the team’s success to team morale and accountability, saying, “The ACT Team is amazing, and they work so well together, jumping in when needed. In order to be successful, you need a team that believes in the same values, purpose, goals and mission. At a management level encouraging promoting autonomy and celebrating successes is important. This is just one of the many things we do to show our team members that they are valued.”
In celebration of the team’s success, we reached out to members, asking them to share a memorable experience serving in their community. Here is what they shared:
“To me, there is something so inherently different about our team- the cohesiveness, the way we communicate, the way we can finish each other’s sentences. We have seen the people we support at some of the lowest points in their lives, and to be able to work together to support, uplift, and empower them is a gift. To see someone go from being unhoused and unemployed, without family and support, to gaining housing, support, and income that meets their needs is amazing and a true testament to their resilience and strength. For people to let us in and trust us to guide them in personal growth is truly what it’s all about.” – Kimberly Dugan, ACT Team Leader
“A memorable experience: taking a client out into the community for the first time after a yearlong COVID lockdown for a cup of coffee at Dunkin. She was extremely appreciative, almost to the point of tears.” – John Malia, Nurse
“One of the people we supported a few years ago has a great success story. He had been with us for about 3-4 years and was interested in taking classes. He often asked me for advice regarding school and job searches. He took a class in auto mechanics. Initially, he wanted to repair his own vehicle. As he was going through the class, I watched his self-esteem and confidence grow. Shortly after he finished the class and began his job search, he expressed an interest in graduating from ACT services. Over a few years, I had watched this man go from a person who was unsure of himself to a person with confidence; not just in his abilities to get through that class, but to get through life. He was ready to graduate. Our last visit was more of a formality. I observed no nervousness. He was just matter of fact, and his confident smile said it all: his life was waiting…he was ready.” – Carol Van Norman, Certified Peer Specialist
Congratulations, Stroudsburg ACT Team! We are proud of your success and the impact you are making in your community!