Integrating Mental Health and Substance Use Services


New York State Office of Mental Health

Funding Area

Integrating Mental Health and Substance Use Services


June 1, 2009

This report addresses whether New York’s Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) Program is effective and under what circumstances.

AOT ensures that individuals with mental illness and a history of hospitalizations or violence participate in community-based services appropriate to their needs through a court-ordered system. AOT can be used to prevent relapse or deterioration before hospitalization is needed, but more often is used as a discharge planning tool creating a smooth transition for hospitalized patients to outpatient treatment.

Key findings of the report include: hospitalizations were reduced by more than half among people receiving 12 months or more of AOT; the likelihood of arrest in any given month was reduced from 3.7% to 1.9% for participants as compared to before they were in the program; suicide or other attempts of people to harm themselves decreased by more than half; nonadherence to medications among participants decreased from 47% to 33% after six months of AOT.