Why are we doing this?
Association for the Chronically Mentally Ill (ACMI) is a nonprofit organization was founded by a group of passionate parents whose adult children shared a similar experience with Arizona’s behavioral health system. You see, while our behavioral health system adequately serves tens of thousands of adults with a serious mental illness (SMI) every year, there is a percentage of our SMI population for whom our behavioral health system is seriously and materially inadequate.
The families of ACMI are working hard so that future families will not have to endure the multiple and unnecessary hospitalizations, incarcerations and homelessness that their sons and daughters have. Indeed, the purpose of ACMI is to not only shine a light on this reality, but to partner with our state’s leaders in health care, public safety and government to engineer practical solutions that are both compassionate and effective for our chronically and seriously mentally ill population.
We work with stakeholders to improve care for persons suffering from chronic serious mental illness through cost-effective network enhancements:
- (a) a person-centered culture (instead of program-centered),
- (b) financial & other incentives, based on performance & outcomes, for providers to better-serve this population;
- (c) more Lighthouse- like homes, i.e. community living properties with 24-hours per day and 7-days per week supportive staff inside these properties,
- (d) humane, well-regulated facilities for secure residential treatment, involuntary as medically appropriate, for those who need more intensive care for a longer period of time to gain insight and continue their recovery in a less restrictive setting; and,
- (e) other possible solutions.
Improve the well-being of Chronic Seriously Mentally Ill population by providing more “Lighthouse-like community living” * and more Contained Treatment Facilities. We will work with all persons and organizations who share our deep concern for the well-being of this population.
We define “persons suffering with Chronic Mental Illness” as those persons who:
- (a) tend to be refractory (i.e. whose illness interferes with their acceptance of treatment),
- (b) tend to suffer anosognosia (i.e. inability to comprehend their clinically evident mental illness),
- (c) usually are ejected from existing care programs for exhibiting symptoms of their illness and
- (d) tend to recycle through residential treatment programs, scattered-site apartments, the streets, jails, emergency rooms, hospitals, back to residential treatment programs, and so on and so forth, for years and even decades as their psychosis and often their substance abuse worsens, their physical well-being declines and their misery and that of their families intensifies.
* Lighthouse-like community living properties have 24-hours per day and 7-days per week supportive staff inside these properties, Person centered culture rather than Program centered culture.