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ACT in Unprecedented Times: How ACT Teams Pivoted Their Work to Adapt to COVID-19 and the Ensuing Racial Unrest
November 20, 2020


About the Event: 

During this webinar, Dr. Helle Thorning will provide a platform for Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) providers to discuss how ACT pivoted to adapt to COVID-19 and the ensuing racial unrest. Pivoting has both been challenging and exciting as it has provided opportunities to discover new ways to provide ACT services for vulnerable individuals who have behavioral health challenges. Moreover, current COVID-19 realities in the context of racial unrest have had tremendous impact on ACT team leaders, team members, ACT participants, social supports and the communities in which they live.

As much of the ACT work has moved online, strategies for inter-professional team collaboration will be explored, highlighting the importance of communication, relationships building, and the importance for self-care for ACT providers, ACT participants and their social supports alike. 

Presentation Slidedeck


Key Learning Objectives: 

1. Identify the challenges of ACT in unprecedented times.  

2. Consider adaptions to ACT due to current realities of COVID-19 and racial unrest and its impact on supervisors and team members.

3. Understand the importance of the inter-professional team in providing services to vulnerable individuals with behavioral health challenges. 

4. Describe how critical conversations (CC) model provides a framework to illuminate and examine power dynamics in order to produce change with parallel insight and action -- across teams, supervisee, supervisor -- towards an anti-racist practice.  

5. Describe approaches to self-care for ACT providers. 


About the Presenter: 

H.ThorningDr. Helle Thorning, MS, LCSW, PhD, is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatric Social Work at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. She serves on the leadership team of the Center for Practice Innovations in the Division of Behavioral Health Services and Policy Research at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University. Here she is a Research Scientist and the Director of the ACT Institute. Dr. Thorning completed her bachelor's degree in psychology at the University of Copenhagen, her master's at Columbia University School of Social Work, and her PhD at the Silver School of Social Work, New York University.  An experienced clinician in hospital and community mental health, Dr. Thorning is a licensed clinical social worker, training clinicians and working with people facing mental health challenges and their families in the US and abroad. Her main research area is in the development and application of education and psychoeducational interventions designed to improve quality of life and outcomes for individuals and families faced with trauma, mental illness, parenting in the context of behavioral health challenges or other significant life challenges as well as transitional care. She has published widely on the topic of interventions and the experience of families and siblings. Moreover, she studies implementation science to change practice through workforce development, transformative learning processes, organizational change and quality improvement and has published in the emergent area of study.