Integrated mental health and addiction care: a framework for co-production

Speaker: Dr Catherine Foley
Australia’s National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales.

Venue: Maitland Room, Iris Murdoch Building, University of Stirling.

Date & time: Thu. 5th Dec. 2:00 to 4:00 pm


DRNS is delighted to host this event to share international learning to help inform the development of integrated mental health and addiction care in Scotland in collaboration with people who use drugs. Dr Catherine Foley is a psychologist with clinical and academic expertise in substance use, mental illness and trauma. Delegates will learn from her involvement in developing co-produced and co-implemented addiction and mental health care in Australia, and will discuss implications for Scottish research, policy and practice.

Session overview

This session explores the co-design and co-implementation of standardised but flexible integrated care across separate mental health and addiction services in regional Australia.

In the study being presented, a mixed-methods approach using Participatory Action Research was led by practitioners in existing clinical services. Partnership with a group of external researchers throughout the process enabled the experiences and expertise of clients and service-providers to be combined with the best available research evidence. A model of care that is underpinned by evidence but also able to be tailored to different circumstances was co-produced, along with a framework for guiding services through uptake of that model.

The iterative process of change that was undertaken to achieve those outcomes will be described in this session. Setbacks and successes will be discussed, together with practitioners’ and clients’ views of integrated care and of the solutions to barriers that they devised.

This collaborative study shows how historical and systemic differences can be traversed to improve treatment delivery for a prevalent and vulnerable population. It offers a framework for designing evidence-informed care that is acceptable to clients and feasible for practitioners to implement, and an opportunity to deliver meaningful support for people with co-occurring mental health and alcohol/drug conditions.


2:00 Arrival, tea & coffee.
2:15 Presentation.
3:00 Questions and discussion on developing integrated models of care.
3:40 Networking and further discussion opportunity over tea and coffee.
4:00 Close.

Speaker biography

Dr Catherine Foley is a psychologist with a clinical background in substance use, mental illness, and trauma. She works as a research fellow with the Australian National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), and as a clinician with the NSW Health Service.

Her current research is focused on improving health experiences and outcomes for people who have complex and co-occurring mental health and substance use conditions. This objective is underpinned by the prioritisation of active collaboration with consumers and service-providers across diverse healthcare settings.

Getting here

A campus map, public transport options, car parking details, and accessibility information are available from: integrated-mental-health-and-addiction-seminar-getting-here

Data protection

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