1972: Commitment to Severe and Persistent Mental Illness

In 1972, the Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) is developed at the Mendota Mental Health Institute, in part by School faculty members Mary Ann Test and Deborah Allness. The PACT program, in its focus on “assertive community treatment,” is perhaps the most nationally and internationally well-known treatment approach to those with severe mental illness.

There is likely no other School of Social Work that has such a long and ongoing commitment to the area of severe and persistent mental illness. Both PACT and the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) movement were founded in Madison, Wisconsin.

The synergy between these programs and the School’s commitment to research and teaching has made for a rich teaching environment for our students, many of whom continue to work with families and individuals with severe and persistent mental illness throughout the country and internationally.