Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Stephen Chris

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


In recent years the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) model of service delivery, which has held considerable influence in policy and decision making in the mental health field over the past 30 years, has recently been promoted at the provincial policy level in Ontario. Previous studies on ACT have been primarily quantitative in nature and have contributed greatly to the body of knowledge that we now possess regarding the clinical outcomes produced by the ACT model. However, with the Ontario government’s financial plan to significantly increase the number of ACT programs in this province, the mental health field would benefit from the added knowledge of subjective experience that is made available through the use of qualitative methodologies. In this study, five ACT clients shared their personal experiences of receiving ACT services in order to answer the question: how do clients experience Assertive Community Treatment? The findings from this study suggest: (a) participants experience ACT as a single relationship that exists between themselves and their case manager; (b) participants experience a need to formulate goals that addressed higher order needs such as independent employment, increased self-esteem, increased income and community integration; (c) participants experience the interaction with and acceptance by non-consumer/ survivors as the most important aspect of community integration. The knowledge and understanding of the experiences of ACT clients provided by this study hold important social and professional implications for both ACT and the larger mental health system.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season