Mental Health & Drug and Alcohol

Moving Towards Integrated Care

For people with mental illness and drug and alcohol issues, across the spectrum of need, receive the treatment and care they require in order to live well and meaningfully. 1


If We Do Nothing?


One in five adults (18% of men and 22% of women) had a substance use, anxiety or mood disorder in the past year (2)


The increased risk of cardiovascular disease is due to high rates of smoking, overweight and obesity, diabetes, poor diet, physical inactivity, high alcohol consumption, and the use of some antipsychotic medications.

What Should We Do?


  • Recent research has highlighted the need for interventions that focus on overall wellbeing, including reducing smoking, improving dietary habits, increasing physical activity, and sleep patterns.
  • Crucial to this approach is the inclusion of multiple service providers who reflect the complex needs of clients, and are able to deliver the right care, to the right person, at the right time. 2

Local challenges- local solutions

Mapping Patient Journeys - from mental health inpatient units at Tweed and Lismore from discharge to care of General Practice (GP) or their own care if there was no GP identified.

GP Collaborative - assist navigation of people living with mental illness or substance issues through the health care system. Working with clinicians to focus on the mind and body. Identifying correct GP on admission

Engagement with GP practices and other services- Support for clinicians across sector to increase ac-cess and awareness of other services and care providers (Mental Health, Primary Care and other)

MH workplace training- So far nearly 70 GP practice staff, pharmacists and chronic disease clinicians have been trained in identification, management and referral of mental health disorders

Online resources and training -

Referral Pathways - 

Mental Health Referral Pathways-Richmond/Clarence

Mental Health Referral Pathways-Tweed/Byron

References -

1 Mental Health Commissions and Alcohol Advisory Council of NZ ( 2008). Getting it right for people with co-existing addiction and men-tal health problems.

2 Marel C, Mills KL, Kingston R, Gournay K, Deady M, Kay-Lambkin F, Baker A, Teesson M (2016). Guidelines on the management of co-occurring alcohol and other drug and mental health conditions in alcohol and other drug treatment settings (2nd edition). Sydney, Aus-tralia: Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales.