(Program of Assertive Community Treatment)

Lenape Valley Foundation PACT – First PACT in PA
Program of Assertive Community Treatment

The phone number for PACT is  215-343-7696

What is PACT?

The Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) is an effective, evidence-based, outreach-oriented, service delivery model for people with severe and persistent mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder.  Using a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week, team approach, PACT delivers comprehensive community treatment, rehabilitation, and support services to consumers in their homes, at work and in community settings.

What does “team approach” refer to?

PACT teams are coordinated combinations of psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, substance abuse treatment specialists, vocational rehabilitation counselors and peer counselors.  Unlike traditional community services, PACT teams:

  • have one staff member for every 10 clients (a staff to client ratio of 1:10).
  • treat both psychiatric and substance abuse disorders at the same time.
  • take services to the client rather than requiring clients to come to the office.
  • provide team case management – the person with a mental illness is a client of the team, not of an individual staff member – so continuity is maintained when staff  leave the team.
  • coordinate provision of psychiatric care with general medical care and dental care.
  • continue to see a client who is in a hospital or jail, which often facilitates an earlier return to the community.
  • employ a psychiatrist who is a full team member, who participated in treatment planning.
  • lessen the family’s responsibilities of providing and coordinating care so a PACT client and his or her family can relate more easily as family members.

Why did Bucks County decide to use the PACT model?

A group of Bucks County NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) members who had taken the NAMI Family To Family Education class saw the need in our community for  more comprehensive mental health services. After learning about PACT through the NAMI National website, a few of the graduates of the education class formed an advocacy group called NAMI Bucks County Families In Action.  After completing further research on the benefits of this program by contacting PACTs in nearby states and the NAMI National Office, this group advocated for PACT for over a year, meeting with county and state mental health administrators as well as our local representatives and county commissioners.  At a Consumer and Family Satisfaction meeting held in December 2001 it was agreed that PACT would be a pilot demonstration program to be located in the middle of Bucks County.

How long has PACT been operational in Bucks County?

The LVF PACT opened its doors to the first clients in Bucks County as of September 2002.

Where is the PACT office located?

Lenape Valley Foundation is the provider who is responsible for the PACT program.  The main office for the Lenape Valley Foundation PACT is located at Lenape Valley Foundation office Doylestown, PA.  However, the majority of services (at least 75%) will be provided by the team to the consumers in the program directly in the community.

Who will be served by the Lenape Valley Foundation PACT?

This program was developed to serve up to 50 clients living in central and Upper Bucks County who meet the criteria for admission.  A typical urban program serves between 100-120 clients and, if the need exists, this program could be expanded to meet the additional needs of the county.

An appropriate referral to the LVF PACT program will be at least eighteen (18) years old, a resident of Central or Upper Bucks County, willing to voluntarily engage in the program and meet the “Diagnostic Criteria” as stated in the “Lenape Valley Foundation PACT Programs Admission Criteria.”   Eligibility information can be found on the LFV PACT Referral Form which can be obtained from the PACT Team Leader for PACT 215-343-7696, ext. 5027.

Is PACT rehabilitation- and recovery-oriented?

Absolutely! PACT is a rehabilitation model.  From its beginning, before the words recovery and empowerment were used in the mental health field, PACT helped consumers regain control of their lives and move ahead in their plans.  The PACT approach helps people live in regular housing, socialize in the community, and return to school or work.  PACT’s attention to basic needs (housing, medical care, income) enables consumers – even those with very severe disabilities – to regain stability, assess their goals, and take steps toward recovery.

Is there a history of success?

Yes, 34 years of documented success since it was started in 1973.  PACT is the only community mental health program with an extensive research base.  Findings from ongoing National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) research comparing PACT clients with persons whose primary treatment site was the hospital indicate the program’s success.

  • PACT clients spend much less time in hospitals and more time in independent living, spend less time unemployed, earn more from competitive employment, have more positive social relationships, enjoy greater satisfaction with life, and have fewer symptoms of severe mental illness.
  • In one study, only 18 percent of PACT clients were hospitalized the first year compared with 89 percent on the non-PACT treatment group.  For those PACT clients who were re-hospitalized, stays were significantly shorter than stays of the non-PACT group.
  • In a landmark five-year National Institute of Mental Health-funded study by the Schizophrenia Patient Outcomes Research Team, scientists reviewed current scientific evidence documenting the most effective treatments for schizophrenia.  Along with appropriate and careful use of anti-psychotic medication, the study endorses the comprehensive approach of assertive community treatment as a model of proven benefit to people with schizophrenia.
  • PACT is recommended as a best practice by the Schizophrenia PORT study done by John’s Hopkins University and the University of Maryland.

Where can I learn more about PACT?

More information about PACT can be found at the NAMI National website. Information can also be found at this site about ordering the PACT Model of Community-Based Treatment for Persons with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness: A Manual for PACT Start-Up, or can be ordered via by clicking on the Books section.

To learn more about the LVF PACT, contact 215-343-7696