What is GAIN?
GAIN is an Evidence Based Practice Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) program.
It began as a pilot project initiated by the state Division of Mental Health Services (DMHS). There were two major objectives: to assist the Arkansas State Hospital in transitioning difficult to treat patients into a less restrictive, community based setting and to serve as a demonstration site for other out-patient providers in the state public mental health system.
In 2000 it became one of the first CARF certified ACT sites in the country. This treatment model is designed to treat adults with the most debilitating forms of major mental illnesses. It was originally developed to help this population avoid in-patient hospitalizations, maintain community tenure and achieve the best quality of life possible. All of the published literature demonstrates that it does in fact drastically reduce the need for hospitalization. GAIN conducted a pre and post study that revealed a 77% reduction in in-patient admissions and an 88% reduction in length of stay.
Who receives GAIN services?
The target population has a major mental illness ( often with co-occurring substance abuse), a history of multiple hospitalizations and an inadequate response to traditional mental health care.
Poly pharmacy is typically required to establish some form of psychiatric stability. This requires frequent contacts with their psychiatrist to monitor progress and the possible emergence of side effects. This population is characterized by an inability to take medications as prescribed, obtain and retain safe affordable housing, inability to manage their money and difficulty in meeting their basic human needs.
Recipients of ACT would without our services have great difficulty in performing the simplest activities required to maintain stability in the community. Frequent and intensive levels of case management, medication management, and grbup therapy are needed to help prevent psychiatric relapses. ACT teams work closely with families and others to assist in the support of clients.
These individuals are extremely sensitive to stress and often need constant contacts with treatment team members to assist them in coping with day to day activities of living. The majority of recipients need multiple visits each day to assist them in taking prescribed medications. Because of the severity of their mental illness, negative symptoms are ever present. Interpersonal relationships are another challenge for this population.
...more about GAIN
Rehabilitative Day Services are an effective tool to help people manage and sometimes overcome these symptoms. Otherwise they would tend to isolate themselves, ruminate about their illness, and sometimes act upon their hallucinations and/or delusions.
Because of cognitive deficits associated with severe mental illness, most ACT clients have serious medical problems. Furthermore, statistics reveal that males with schizophrenia die twenty years earlier than the normal life expectancy. GAIN assists clients in accessing quality medical care.
ACT also offers educational services and other opportunities to develop a more healthy life style.
Many of the clients at GAIN have a history of criminal activity and aggressive behavior when not treated. Others have a history of homelessness and have been preyed upon by others. Others have a risk of self injury or risk taking. ACT addresses these issues directly to prevent a return to dangerous activity and/or homelessness.
In order to achieve the best possible outcomes it is the norm to deliver multiple and frequent services seven days per week. ACT has proven, in its almost fifty years of existence, to be an effective means of helping people cope with and often recover from their illness. As a result persons are sometimes able to return to the work force, reunite with their families,etc