Happy Holidays from the ACT Institute

  • 19 December 2019


ACT Team Leader Retreat 2019 - Changing the Narrative: Breaking Through Barriers

  • 29 October 2019

The ACT Institute was pleased to present the ACT Team Leader Retreat on October 10th and October 11th in Albany, New York. The retreat brought together 78 ACT Team Leaders and Vocation Specialists from all five NYS regions (NYC, Hudson River, Central NY, Western NY, and Long Island), along with OMH Administrators, to change the narrative and break through barriers. Read more.

Abaigeal Duke joins CPI Staff as Recovery Specialist and Trainer

  • 27 September 2019
We are pleased to announce that Abaigeal Duke has joined our staff as Recovery Specialist and Trainer for the OnTrackNY initiative and ACT Institute. In this role, she will work directly with OnTrackNY and ACT teams across NYS. Read more.

Assertive Community Treatment Updated Staff Training Requirements Now Located in the LMS

  • 27 August 2019

We are pleased to announce the Assertive Community Treatment Updated Staff Training Requirements, now located in the LMS. Please review the ACT Training Memo from NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH), Bureau of Rehabilitation Support Services regarding the updates and how they affect your team’s training status. The ACT Institute Curriculum Training Guide provides a more in-depth overview of the new ACT Training curriculum, including requirements for newly hired ACT Providers. Read more.  

Pascale Jean-Noel delivers Key Note Address at Oregon’s Center of Excellence Annual Statewide ACT Conference

  • 10 July 2019

On June 11th, 2019 Pascale Jean-Noel, Director of Training at the ACT Institute, delivered the Key Note Address at Oregon Center of Excellence annual statewide ACT conference entitled My Positionality and How That Impacts My Seat at the Table.

Over 250 ACT Providers attended this year representing 33 ACT teams in Oregon gathered for a two-day conference in Corvallis, Oregon. Read More

Luis Lopez Supports Clinicians working with Hurricane Maria Survivors in Puerto Rico

  • 2 July 2019

This June Luis Lopez from the ACT Institute was invited to Puerto Rico to train approximately 80 clinicians working with survivors of Hurricane Maria. During this trip, Luis facilitated training sessions at 3 different areas of the island – Mayaguez (west coast), Arecibo (northern region), and Caguas (near the east coast). Clinicians attending the training were psychiatric nurses, social workers, counselors, and psychologists from COSSMA, a non-for-profit agency serving over 27,000 survivors throughout the island.   Read More

A Year in Review: Reflections on our Field Placement at the ACT Institute

Written by. Angelina LaMastra, Yiyin Tang & Kristin Torres

  • 9 May 2019

Over the past year, the ACT Institute had the pleasure of hosting three 2nd year Master of Social Work interns, Angelina LaMastra from Columbia University, and Kristin Torres and Yiyin Tang from New York University. The MSW interns were assigned different tasks based on their area of interests and self-determined learning objectives and were able to gain valuable learning and working experience to help them in their future careers as social work advocates and leaders. The interns would like to take this opportunity to thank the ACT Institute staff and leadership for their guidance and support and reflect on their individual experiences and work here at NYSPI as they prepare to graduate and move forward in the field. Read More

3rd Annual Peer Learning Community Day: ACT MAPS Training

  • 29 April 2019

On Friday April 12, 2019, the ACT Institute hosted an ACT MAPS training and the third annual face-to-face ACT Peer Specialist training. This training has been almost three years in the making since the ACT Institute began organizing the ACT Peer workforce through a process of interviews, gatherings, and the development of a Peer Scope of Practice. The lack of clarity related to the Peer Specialist role on ACT Teams has created a situation where many peer workers find themselves responsible for traditionally clinical tasks without clear training in peer values and practices. There has been a commitment by the ACT Institute to support peer workers on ACT Teams in a way that has fostered a lot of trust, camaraderie and creative visioning towards the future. This gathering was both an opportunity to share experiences as well as a concrete training of peer developed tools and strategies to help bring the benefits of peer support more fully into the ACT model. It represented the continued desire to strengthen and unify the ACT Peer workforce and build stronger connections to the larger peer workforce community in New York City. Read more

The ACT Institute Interviews Spring 2019 Peer-Interns Drew Musa and Ife Samms

“Nothing about us without us”

  • 26 April 2019

We chatted with New York Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) Spring 2019 interns from Howie the Harp (HTH) Ife Samms and Drew Musa to get their take on the work they have done since starting their internships in February. Drew (left) is a 25-year-old Muay Thai enthusiast from Queens, and Ife (right) is a 26-year-old singer-songwriter from Brooklyn. HTH interns are placed in a three-month internship following a six-month educational program at the advocacy center for people diagnosed with a mental illness. At NYSPI, their time at their internship is divided in half between working directly with patients on a NYSPI’s inpatient-unit and working with the ACT Institute to help support and train Peer Specialists who work on ACT Teams across the state. We asked them a few questions to get a better picture of their experiences working with CPI thus far.  Read More

Attention ACT providers!

  • 16 April 2019

There is a new set of tobacco resources available through the CPI Learning Management System. To access them, login to and click the NYC TCTTAC (Tobacco Training) button on the lower right. 

Tobacco is the #1 cause of death among people diagnosed with a psychiatric illness in the United States (Callaghan et al, 2014). People diagnosed with a psychiatric illness are more likely to smoke than people without (36% vs. 21%) (CDC Vital Signs February 2013) and smoke more often (SAMHSA CBHSQ Report March 2017). It has also been shown that people diagnosed with a psychiatric illness want to and are able to stop smoking (CDC Vital Signs February 2013). And we can help! In fact, people are the most successful when they receive a combination of psychosocial support and medication, including NRTs, varenicline, and bupropion (2008 PHS Guideline Update). The resources available here speak to the importance of addressing tobacco and describe the most up-to-date evidence-based practices available for counselors as well prescribing clinicians.   Read More


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