ACT for Mental Health has been serving the needs of down town San Jose for over fifty years. It was started as a grass roots organization, in response to the closing of Agnews State Hospital, and continues to help the chronically mentally ill through its Drop in Center, activities, and nutrition program.
Today, ACT serves the surrounding community with Counseling Services, Parent and Child Reunification programs, and Support Groups for Spanish speaking parents. Although ACT is operated on a shoe string, it has an outreach program to the local Community School (alternative high school for troubled teens).
Services are provided on a sliding scale, but ACT takes pride in turning no one away because of their inability to pay. The recent financial crisis has caused additional stress in the community ACT serves, resulting in a large upsurge of requests for counseling for anxiety and depression.
Given ACT’s limited resources, it would have been expected that they would limit the number of new patients. Instead, ACT launched a grass roots outreach, placing small, hand lettered notices in coin operated laundries, schools and libraries to reach people that needed their help.
I’ve never met a harder working, or more dedicated group of people. And, the most amazing thing about ACT is it is a joyous environment. These people truly enjoy their work.