Training to Provide Effective Co-Occurring Services
Individuals with co-occurring mental and substance use disorders often have multiple complex conditions that may lead them to seek services in different systems of care. No matter which service system individuals with co-occurring disorders come to first, practitioners should be trained to recognize their needs and connect them with appropriate and effective treatment.
Training ranges from basic screening and referrals to evidence-based clinical interventions. A basic level of training in co-occurring disorders can benefit all practitioners while staff that work closely with individuals with co-occurring disorders need more advanced training.
Basic training in co-occurring disorders typically ranges from a half-day to 2-days. They can be offered to a range of audiences including:
- General staff
- Individuals with co-occurring disorders and their families
Training can be delivered in a variety of ways. Some examples include:
- Partnering with colleges and universities to develop co-occurring disorders coursework
- Offering Web-based training
- Conducting sessions at conferences and institutes
- Offering classroom training
- Using a train-the-trainer approach
- Using consumers to deliver portions of trainings
Basic training outlines definitions of common terms, principles underlying effective practice and the need for an integrated approach. It also may provide training on screening, an overview of assessment issues, treatment models or guidelines, and protocols for creating a continuum of care for individuals with co-occurring disorders.
Advanced training provide indepth information on specific evidence-based practices for co-occurring disorders for practitioners who provide integrated assessments and treatment to individuals with co-occurring disorders. Examples include:
- Motivational interviewing
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Stage-wise treatment
- Relapse prevention
- Knowledge of psychotropic medications
Some states also train supervisors or leaders to promote integration and systems change. For example, Ohio provides leaders with a 2-day training program that covers a range of expectations for guiding change. Follow-up includes a yearlong consultation by phone and in person. Program leaders meet once or twice a year and participate in regional training annually.
Cross-training or conducting trainings that include both mental health and substance abuse staff, promotes integration. Cross-training can help practitioners develop an understanding of the types of services provided by practitioners in other service systems. It can promote respect and facilitate coordination of care. Programs to train practitioners across disciplines may include exercises for relationship building, role plays, and joint work on representative cases.
Resources and Links
This training series offers a comprehensive overview for counselors on topics related to assessing and treating persons with co-occurring disorders.
The institute offers training using various methods including on-line, learning communities, in-person training.
SAMHSA's Integrated Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders Evidence-Based Practices KIT, Chapter on Training Frontline Staff
This co-occurring disorder tool kit has a guide for providing basic training to practitioners, administrators, individuals with co-occurring disorders and their families.
Substance Abuse Treatment For Persons With Co-Occurring Disorders Inservice Training based on Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) 42
This COD curriculum consists of 18 modules and includes presentation instructions, PowerPoint slides (that can be copied onto overhead transparencies), trainer scripts, and participant handouts. The training approach includes presentations, discussion sessions, and practice exercises for participants.
Vermont Agency of Human Services Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Conditions training course.
This web-based training course is designed to give a basic introduction to co-occurring mental health and substance use conditions. The participant can navigate through 6 lessons on the basics of co-occurring disorders.
This is a complete training curriculum on co-occurring disorders, with 14 modules ranging from basic to advanced topics. Each module contains a powerpoint presentation for the trainer, pre- and post-tests for the participants, and handouts.
This on-line course via Blackboard consists of 10 modules covered over a 10-week course. Participants have the opportunity to interact with instructors and others in the class.
The materials of this Website are designed to facilitate the dissemination, adoption and implementation of motivational interviewing among clinicians, supervisors, program managers and trainers.
This free two-part Webinar discusses the characteristics of the Stages of Change model, which is commonly used when working with individuals with co-occurring disorders.
Quick Guide for Administrators — Based on TIP 42, Substance Abuse Treatment for Persons with Co-Occurring Disorders
A Quick Guide based entirely on information contained in TIP 42
A summary of challenges and strategies to technology transfer within organizations
Broad review of service and systems variables impacted by integration
Substance Abuse Treatment for Persons with Co-Occurring Disorders, TIP 42, Appendix F, Common Medications for Disorders
A comprehensive summary of common psychotropic medications
This paper discusses evidence-based practices (EBPs) and their use in treating persons with co-occurring disorders (COD), discusses how evidence is used to determine if a given practice should be labeled as evidence based, and gives some brief examples of EBPs for COD.