Authors: Mark Goodhew, NSW
Event: 2013 TheMHS Conference
Subject: CLINICAL ISSUES, Substance Use Issues
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: It is common for people who inject drugs to also be diagnosed with mental health issues, but they are often denied care, as mental health and drug and alcohol services do not often work in partnership and are often overburdened and underfunded. The Medically Supervised Injecting Centre is a service that employs harm reduction principles to manage the harms of injection drug use and has received three years of funding to employ a mental health nurse to address clients' mental health needs. The nurse has completed 20 mental health comprehensive assessments on clients, which will be analysed using case study methodology. The case study will describe clients' mental health, social determinants, traumatic life events and access to mental health services. It was found that most clients have mental health issues, are unemployed, have lower levels of education, have experienced trauma at an early age, have a forensic history and find it difficult to access mental health services on a long term basis. It is hoped that the results generate a snapshot of clients' mental health and generate hypotheses for future studies.