Instilling hope.
Inspiring change.
Building community. 

Penn Foundation Hosts Annual Legislative Luncheon

Penn Foundation hosted its annual Legislative Luncheon on Friday, March 15. This event provides an opportunity for local legislators to visit Penn Foundation’s campus and learn more about the agency’s programs and services.

Julie Williams, Associate Executive Director of Adult Mental Health Outpatient Services; Deborah Strouse, Forensic Assertive Community Treatment (FACT) Team Leader; and Craig Oliver, Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Team Leader provided an in-depth look at the agency’s ACT and FACT programs. A recent study showed that FACT significantly reduces incarceration rates, saving the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania more than $270,000 annually.

Valerie Landis, an ACT client since 2007, shared details of her struggle with alcoholism and depression and described how the ACT program has helped her find “light” in the darkness. “ACT has helped me so much,” says Landis. “I was in a very dark place before ACT came into my life. With the team’s help, I’ve been sober for five years; I’m managing my depression; and I’ve been working in the field as a Certified Peer Specialist for a year. When my husband passed away eight months ago, ACT helped me through that difficult time. ACT really does live up to Penn Foundation’s mission of instilling hope and inspiring change.”

In a time when mental health is being discussed on a national level, Penn Foundation is grateful for the opportunity to dialogue with our area legislators about its programs and the issues facing community behavioral healthcare providers. Special thanks to those legislators who attended the luncheon - Representative Paul Clymer, Representative Robert Godshall, Representative Marcy Toepel, and Bucks County Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia.

 

About ACT and FACT
Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) is a person-centered approach to care that aims to lessen or eliminate symptoms of mental illness; minimize or prevent recurrent episodes of illness; enhance an individual’s ability to live independently within his or her own community; and lessen the family’s burden of providing care.

 

It is unique in that it blends the disciplines of psychiatry, psychology, nursing, addictions, social work, and psychosocial rehabilitation, offering a multidisciplinary team of professionals that works together to provide highly individualized treatment, rehabilitation, and support services in individuals’ homes and communities. Unlike the traditional system of care, ACT allows consumers to receive all aspects of their treatment in one place from one team of providers.

 

The Forensics ACT team takes this approach one step further by also including a Forensics Specialist whose primary role is to advocate for consumers as they move through the criminal justice system.

About Penn Foundation
Since its founding in 1955, Penn Foundation’s mission has been to instill hope, inspire change, and build community. The not-for-profit organization provides a wide-range of compassionate, responsive, and innovative services that address the mental health, substance use, and intellectual disability needs of the community. With a strong belief in the healing power of hope and the resiliency of the human spirit , Penn Foundation partners with more than 10,000 individuals and families each year, helping them to realize their fullest emotional, physical, and spiritual health.

 

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