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May 5 2021



albina-20veltman-20--20photo2tara la rose

Albina Veltman, MD, FRCPC – Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences – McMaster University; Psychiatrist - Hamilton Assertive Community Treatment Team;  (Ontario)

Tara La Rose, MSW, PhD, RSW – Assistant Professor, School of Social Work – McMaster University (Ontario)

ACT Team patients experience complex mental health needs made more acute by factors such as stigma, isolation, poverty, and side effects leading to iatrogenic conditions; factors which place them at risk of early death. For many ACT Team patients, the relationships they share with ACT Team staff are some of the few consistent relationships they experience. When ACT Team patients die, it is often the role of the Team to plan funeral/memorial services.  Literature on the topic of grief among mental healthcare workers following a death of a client is severely limited with the bulk of the scholarship focused on death by suicide. At present, there is almost no research available on the topic of grieving “natural death” of mental health clients. ACT Team workers’ grief remains an area of much needed scholarship. Because of the intense and longstanding relationships that often develop between ACT Team clients and workers, the grief experienced by ACT Team workers after the loss of a client can be profound. However, there are no standardized policies/guidelines available regarding the topic of grief in ACT Team workers, despite the fact that other ACT practices are highly standardized.  We will report the findings from our project which engaged in inquiry into the experiences of ACT Team workers (through 26 individual interviews with workers across Ontario) as they attempt to cope with grief, seeking to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the needs of ACT Team workers in order to improve resiliency and prevent burnout and compassion fatigue.



quadrant 5

Richard Kruszynski ; Director of Center for Evidence Based Practices at Case Western Reserve University, (Ohio, US)

The field of addiction services continues to enhance and advance the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver effective interventions for people in need of services that promote and support recovery. Included in these advancements is an increased understanding of dynamics that are unique to particular cross-sections of the treatment population—dynamics essential to master in order to have the greatest possible impact on positive client outcomes. For instance, the treatment technology associated with best results among individuals with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) and addiction to alcohol and other drugs (co-occurring disorders) has been understood and articulated for several decades. However, service providers in many treatment settings have a persistent misunderstanding of the needs of this population and the nuances of service delivery.

This training event will highlight 10 considerations that are essential for programs that are providing treatment to individuals with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) and the role of those considerations in service delivery. This event is especially valuable for Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams and other programs that target services to individuals with SPMI (i.e., those on the severe end of the mental-health symptom continuum).

Learning Objectives:

Participants will be able to:

  • Explain the conceptual framework associated with the Quadrant Model of Co-Occurring Disorders (COD)
  • Describe 10 unique considerations for AOD treatment with individuals diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI)
  • Recognize necessary modifications to "treatment as usual" that are essential to effective work with individuals who have SPMI

Any questions please contact:

Please share with your team…

Conference Program and Registration:

Cost: Free for all staff on OAAF member teams. ($300 per person for non-members).

OAAF Virtual Conference Registration Form

Conference Dates: March 17 - July 14, 2021

Name: _________________________________________

Team name: ____________________________________

Team city: ______________________________________

ACT Staff____          FACT Staff____

Email address:__________________________________

(your Zoom link will be sent to this email address)

Registration deadline: April 30, 2021

Pre-registration is required for all participants.

(late registrations will only be accepted for new staff hired after this date)

Cost: Free for staff on OAAF member teams. $300 Canadian for all others.

Registration is for the entire conference. There is no single or per session fee or registration option.

Registrants are sent one Zoom link only (recurrent).

You must accept the ZOOM invitation/link in order to be able to participate.

Please email completed form to:

If your team is not an OAAF member team the conference cost is $300 per person.

Please mail your cheque to:  Wendy Black, 65 McDougall Dr., Barrie, ON   L4N 7H6

Please make cheque payable to the: Ontario Association for ACT & FACT


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  • tara la rose
  • quadrant 5
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