Homelessness is a major social problem in Canada, and people experiencing chronic and episodic homelessness have complex needs, including but not limited to serious mental illness and/or addictions that impede their ability to become stably housed. ACT is an evidence-based, multidisciplinary, wrap-around, team approach that supports people with severe mental illness and addictions in the community. Housing First programs that use ACT are recognized as evidence-based practices. There is a lack of ACT services within many Housing First programs in Canada which means that many people who are homeless with serious mental illness do not receive the much needed intensive services such as ACT.
This evidence-based policy brief highlights the need to integrate ACT and Housing First into health and housing policy strategies and to the need for additional funding in order to provide community support for individuals with serious mental illness who are homeless.
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