Those living with severe mental health challenges in Duncan will now have better access to 24/7 community-based supports and services.

The city will have one of six new Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams.

Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy says the teams “will deliver the care people need to get better and rebuild their lives as well as help stabilize and resolve the challenging situations that some communities have seen in the past few months.”

They will provide flexible, individualized support – including community living, psychosocial supports and recovery – for adults with serious, complex and often persistent mental health challenges that make it difficult to manage day-to-day activities. 

Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo says the new Assertive Community Treatment teams will be a huge benefit for those who need help. 

“In Nanaimo, we’ve been working hard to get more help for people living with serious mental health challenges, because the need is great,” said Malcolmson.

“People are still struggling with housing, social supports and substance use, so we’re bringing in a new team to help. Getting a new ACT team in our community means more people will get the right combination of mental health supports and services.”

The teams are mobile and deliver 24/7 services in the community, such as in client homes, work, parks and recreation locations, rather than in a traditional office setting. 

The services they provide are unique to each community but can include crisis assessment and intervention, housing supports, psychiatric/psychological treatment, medication management, supports for substance use disorder, work-related services, family support, healthy lifestyle choices and social/recreational activities.

Up to 60 new staff will be hired to support the six new teams.