Mentally ill and struggling with addictions, Penelope Rowley in and out of hospital and all out of hope. Referred to an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team in Vancouver, her life began to turn around when she met AC Fleming, an ACT RN. Today, Penelope is thriving as a peer facilitator for other ACT clients and living independently in a home she can call her own.
ACT is a multidisciplinary program specializing in serving people with complex and persistent mental health illness and addiction — people who generally aren’t well served by traditional services in the community. Focused on providing wraparound care by bringing services to clients in the community, ACT teams transform the lives of people who are often homeless or marginally housed in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
Like Penelope, many Vancouver ACT clients have benefitted. Since 2013, we have seen a 45 per cent reduction in Emergency Department visits, and more than a 50 per cent drop in violent offences, among Vancouver ACT clients.
But, nothing says success better than the smile on Penelope’s face as she sits in her own apartment and looks forward to the future.
Meet Penelope and members of the ACT team who are part of her story of recovery: