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Assertive Community Treatment

Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) is one of the oldest and most widely researched evidence-based practices for behavioral health. The model is person-centered and recovery-based, with a transdisciplinary team providing all needed behavioral health services to those with severe and persistent mental illness.

Services provided by ACT include case management, nursing, psychiatry, employment, substance use disorder services, peer support, and more. These services are provided in the homes or communities of those being served. Assertive Community Treatment teams have a low client to staff ratio and are available to clients 24/7.

The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion estimates that approximately 1 in 25 Americans live with a serious mental illness. The State of Maryland has approximately 25 Assertive Community Treatment teams.1

The Evidence-Based Practice Center at University of Maryland, Baltimore provides state-wide ACT events and training, as well as individual consultation for teams. For more information, contact Katie Kirk, ACT Trainer, at:

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ACT COD Training Series

Substance use disorders are common among those being served by Assertive Community Treatment Teams. This series is offered quarterly and focuses on the broad skills needed to be effective in working with those with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.

These events are only open to Maryland Assertive Community Treatment Teams.

Dates: Thursdays, February 29 - March 7, 2024
Times: 10 - 12:00 p.m.
CEUs: 2 credit per session for the first four sessions*
Attendance: Please email Stephanie Lagalo at: for the zoom link for each training.

Topics and Dates

Session 1: Engagement Interventions

Date: Thursday, February 29

This training will focus on an introduction to stage-wise treatment and specific interventions for the engagement stage for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness and substance use disorders. These interventions include assisting with basic needs, building the clinical relationship, intervening in crisis, and assistance with managing stress.

Session 2: Motivational Interventions

Date: Thursday, March 7

This training will focus on interventions for the motivation stage of treatment. These interventions are based around the practice of Motivational Interviewing. We will review the spirit of motivational interviewing, OARS, eliciting change talk, and how to pair motivational interviewing with activities of daily living.

Session 3: Active Treatment Interventions Part 1

Date: Thursday, March 14

This training will focus on all of Marsha Linehan’s Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills modified for Assertive Community Treatment clients. We will cover skills from all four modules – Core Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, Distress Tolerance, and Interpersonal Effectiveness.

Session 4: Active Treatment Interventions Part 2

Date: Thursday, March 21

This training will focus on Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy based on Aaron Beck’s cognitive model for individuals with severe and persistent mental health and substance use disorders. This session will also focus on the importance of behaviorism in our work.

ACT COD Training Series CEU Information

The Evidence-Based Practice Center (EBPC) of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry is authorized as a sponsor of Continuing Education Units. The EBPC maintains responsibility for this program. Please pay attention to the following distinctions regarding CEUs found at the end of each title.

*The Evidence-Based Practice Center of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry certifies that this individual meets the criteria 2 Continuing Education Credits (Category I) for Social Workers/2 Continuing Education (CE) for Psychologists/ and 2 Continuing Education Units (Category A) for Professional Counselors and Therapists and Alcohol and Drug Counselors.

Also, you must log in through the webinar platform to be eligible for a certificate. Participants who call-in-only are not eligible for CEUs or COAs.

BHA sponsors this training free of charge to eligible Maryland-based provider staff through the University of Maryland School of Medicine Training and Evidence-Based Practice Centers. We are committed to making these trainings accessible to all eligible providers. If you represent an eligible provider agency and would like to discuss accommodations for your staff including requesting training at or closer to your facility, please email us at and provide your agency name, address, and the email address for a contact person.

1. Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Rockville, MD: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 2016.  Retrieved January 5, 2023 from