It is common for people who have issues with alcohol and/or other drugs to also experience mental health problems. This combination is sometimes known as dual diagnosis; co-morbidity or co-occurring disorder.
Cyrenian House research over a number of years has shown that most of the people we work with have a co-occurring disorder and so we think of it as part of our core business. This is congruent with findings from around the world that have led many services to adopt the motto that co-occurring alcohol and/or other drug issues and mental health issues are “the expectation not the exception”.
The most frequent mental health issues we see are anxiety and depression. It is also common for us to work with people who have a range of other mental health issues such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; drug induced psychosis; eating disorders; mood disorders; post-traumatic stress disorder; schizophrenia and others.
Cyrenian House has a commitment to family inclusive practice. In keeping with this we partnered with Mental Health Matters 2, a community advocacy group, to deliver Families 4 Families (F4F).
F4F is organised and led by peers – that is people who have family member with a co-occurring issue that they are supporting. Cyrenian House provides clinical support and assisted referral if required.
The group meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month and the format is a mix of guest speakers and shared support. For more details see http://mentalhealthmatters2.com/families-4-families-wa/ and for further details about our partners MHM2 see https://www.facebook.com/mentalhealthmatters2perth/?fref=ts
Useful links and information about individual mental health conditions
Information on individual mental health issues, including diagnostic criteria are available using:
The World Health Organisation’s International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Health Related Problems (ICD 10) http://apps.who.int/classifications/icd10/browse/2016/en#/V
For fact sheets and Australian resources the MI Fellowship http://www.mifellowship.org/ and Mind Health Connect http://www.mindhealthconnect.org.au/ websites are very useful.
The American Psychiatric Association produces the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder currently in its fifth version otherwise known as the DSM5
Wikipedia provides a shorter version of the contents of DSM5
Western Australian Resources
In Western Australia the ‘Green Book’ lists alcohol and other drug agencies as well as mental health agencies.
It can be accessed through http://greenbook.org.au
Centre for Clinical Interventions CCI is a publically funded mental health service that has developed a number of resources for consumers, mental health practitioners, and doctors which are available through its website. http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/
Consumers of Mental Health WA Inc. (COMHWA) CoMHWA, is a non-profit, community based organisation dedicated to supporting mental health reform and recovery of people with lived experience of mental health issues. It is led by and supports consumers of mental health services. http://www.comhwa.org.au/
Mental Health Commission WA
The Mental Health Commission provides leadership and support in the delivery of mental health services in Western Australia. http://www.mentalhealth.wa.gov.au/Homepage.aspx
Mental Health Matters 2 (MHM2)
Mental Health Matters 2 is a unique alliance of people with a lived experience of mental distress, their families and supporters as well as people who work in mental health and allied services.
Also see https://www.facebook.com/mentalhealthmatters2perth/?fref=ts
Richmond Wellbeing, formerly, Richmond Fellowship WA is a not for profit mental health service operating in Western Australia. Richmond Wellbeing operate a number of residential facilities and a number of other services for people with mental health problems. They also have a training department.
Western Australia Network of Alcohol and Drug Agencies (WANADA)
WANADA is the peak body for Western Australia’s alcohol and other drug agencies. Member agencies provide education, advocacy, community development, prevention, treatment and support services. http://www.wanada.org.au/
Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH)
The Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH) is the peak body of the community-managed mental health sector in Western Australia. It has a training department
Women’s Health and Family Services
Women’s Health & Family Services staff specialise in women’s health issues. The services offered include medical, counselling, drug and alcohol support, domestic violence, mental health and other health services for women and their families.
It offers a wide range of services to rural and remote Western Australia through Rural In Reach video conferencing service.
Mental health services or agencies that might be helpful in finding information about mental health problems or services to assist recovery. (Alphabetically listed)
Beyond Blue aims to reduce the impact of anxiety, depression and suicide in the community by raising awareness and understanding, empowering people to seek help, supporting recovery, management and resilience.
The website has fact sheets and other resources http://www.beyondblue.org.au
Black Dog Institute
The Black Dog Institute is a not-for-profit organization dealing with mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder.
The website contains fact sheets, research and useful management and treatment information. http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au
Carers Australia is the national peak body representing Australian carers, including those who care for or support people with mental health or co-occurring issues. They advocate for carers at a national level.
The website contains research, position papers etc as well as details of a list of services. http://www.carersaustralia.com.au
Headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation
Headspace provides early intervention mental health services to 12-25 year olds. Headspace helps young people aged 12-25 who are going through a tough time, providing support for problems like depression, anxiety and bullying. They offer face to face and phone support options and counselling.
There is also on line support at
Hearing Voices Network Australia (HVNA)
Hearing Voices is a community of voice hearers, professionals and families, allies working toward recovery, acceptance and inclusion. The web page Hearing Voices Approach explains the network clearly and simply.
Lifeline Crisis Support Suicide Prevention
Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.
MI Fellowship is a not for profit membership organisation. Their purpose is to support people with mental illness and other psychosocial disabilities, their families and their friends in order to gain inclusion into communities.
There are a number of factsheets explaining a variety of mental health problems on the web page. They are very clearly written and easy to understand.
Mind Health Connect
The mind health connect website has mental health resources and content from the leading health focused organisations in Australia. There are a range of mental health resources including online programs, fact sheets, audio and video, and online communities.
Mood Gym Training Program
Mood Gym Training Program teaches you cognitive behaviour therapy skills for preventing and coping with depression. It was developed by the Australian National University.
National Paranoia Network UK
National Paranoia Network aims to aims to raise awareness of how disabling paranoia can be and to breakdown social taboos. It runs training sessions globally to professional bodies and all interested parties on how to understand a person’s paranoia and help them make sense of it.
Partners in Recovery PIR
PIR is an initiative of the Australian Federal Government Department of Health. It links people with mental health problems and other unmet needs into services. See the link below for full entry criteria and a list of areas covered.
SANE researches and develops resources to inform and educate the community about the impact of mental illness and to promote a fulfilling life for all those affected. The website has a lot of mental health guides and fact sheets.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioural health of the US.
SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.
The MHS Learning Network
The MHS Learning Network Inc. is an international learning network for improving mental health services in Australia and New Zealand. The MHS events bring together people from across Australia and New Zealand to stimulate debates that challenge the boundaries of present knowledge and ideas about mental health care and mental health systems.
Links to mental health related sites of interest
Housing and Accommodation Support Initiative (HASI)
The Housing and Accommodation Support Initiative (HASI) is a collaborative partnership between New South Wales Health, Housing New South Wales and various non-government organisations. It recognises that people with mental health problems need access to stable, secure and affordable housing. In addition it is very helpful to be linked in with clinical support and psychosocial rehabilitation services.
This site gives a link to an evaluation of the initiative
Multiple and Complex Need Initiative (MACNI)
The Multiple and Complex Needs Initiative (MACNI) is a time-limited specialist service for people 16 years and older, who have been identified as having multiple and complex needs. This includes people with combinations of mental illness, substance abuse issues, intellectual impairment, acquired brain injury and forensic issue. From http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/about-the-department/plans,-programs-and-projects/projects-and-initiatives/cross-departmental-projects-and-initiatives/multiple-and-complex-needs-initiative