Mind your step: Developing effective mental health training for alcohol and other drug workers

Nicole Lee, Angela Harney, Jacqui Cameron, Sandra Roeg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Mental health problems are common among drug treatment clients with most symptoms related to anxiety and depression. In this study, we used an established manual for alcohol and drug practitioners known as PsyCheck that outlines basic mental health screening and intervention for high prevalence disorders. The aim of this study was to examine changes in clinician's mental health screening and intervention activities post-training. One hundred ninety-five staff members from 13 alcohol and drug services across Australia participated in the training, which consisted of 2 days of practical instruction in comorbidity and the use of the PsyCheck manual. The package takes a symptom-focused approach. A clinical file audit was undertaken prior to and 6 months after the training to examine changes in clinicians' screening and intervention activities. The results showed increases in screening for mental health problems 6 months after training. Although the study is methodologically limited, it suggests that manualised treatments, with the addition of training and post-training support, can improve alcohol and other drug practitioners focus on mental health screening and intervention.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)340-347
    Number of pages8
    JournalMental Health and Substance Use: dual diagnosis
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


    • comorbidity
    • dual diagnosis
    • PsyCheck
    • screening
    • substance use
    • training


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