Developing Service User-Focused Outcomes in Dual Diagnosis – Practical Tool

With the right support we can and do recover. Dual Diagnosis Network can help you and carers to find the right resources to recover.

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Developing Service User-Focused Outcomes in Dual Diagnosis – Practical Tool

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Substance misuse and mental illness both exert a heavy impact on people’s lives. They can affect physical health, social status, relationships, self-image…in fact most aspects of a person’s life can be affected. For people who experience both mental ill-health and addiction, the problem more than doubles. Both issues become entwined and impact one another and the rest of our lives can fall to pieces as a result.

This document reflects many of these difficulties. Spurned by the mental health community for substance misuse and derided by the drug and alcohol teams for being chaotic, all too often the support we receive does not bridge the gap between fields, and rejection by services perpetuates low self-esteem.

More optimistically, this outcomes tool also reflects positive experiences and makes practical recommendations for improving services. As experts in the experience of substance misuse and mental ill-health (dual diagnosis), people who have used services have a wealth of knowledge to contribute. Different services and professionals impact our lives, and provide a map through services and into Recovery, showing the opportunities and pitfalls along the way. Such support is crucial, but it is the user, who is the driving force of Recovery.

This user-focused outcomes tool is a welcome development for those of us engaged with services or seeking to help those who are struggling with mental illness, substance misuse and other issues. It highlights the struggle many faces and also paves the way for a better, more coordinated and cohesive approach to address not only one issue, but the many issues involved in an individual’s unique experience towards Recovery.

Through people who have used services informing the commissioning process, we can help to ensure that the real issues and real priorities are brought to the fore. The shared goal is to commission effective and accessible services which support Recovery – not just for abstinence – but for life.

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