People With A Serious Mental Illness And Problematic Substance Use -The Treatment Challenge -The Innovative Response

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Authors: Paul Clenaghan and Tony Colechin - Royal North Shore and Community Health Services, Adult Mental Health Service

Year: 1994

Event: 1994 TheMHS Conference

Subject: book of proceedings

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

ISBN: 0646251104

Abstract: Immediate action is required to develop a more adequate range of programmes to meet the complex needs experienced by people with a serious mental illness and problematic substance use. This paper explores the extent and dimensions of the problem and issues regarding service provision and impediments to service provision. It is proposed that traditional models for treating these dual problems are outdated and are no longer an adeuate response to the growing population of people with these co existing disorders. There are three consistent fundamental themes that impeded service provision:Lack of training for mental health professionals on substance abuse; residential facilities are not tailored to the unique needs of this population; and there is inadequate integration between substance abuse services and mental health services. It is these three themes that are the key elements of an innovative project design currently being implemented by the authors. In this paper we have investigated the current issues regarding the extent and dimensions of the dual problems of serious mental illness and problematic substance use. We have considered what is available in existing services for this client population and have developed a project to address the particular needs of this population.

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