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Mental Health Humor : 5 Question FRIDAYS: Dual Diagnosis

Posted Jun 27 2008 12:00am

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Mental Health Humor : 5 Question FRIDAYS : Dual Diagnosis - Welcome to 5 Question Fridays! Our weekly post that gives us a chance to get to know our readers and tap into their knowledge and experience.

Let’s get down to the real reason why Foundations Associates is here today. It’s time for our 5 Question Fridays.

Chato: First, please could you tell us what a Dual Diagnosis is?

Jesse: Aka, Co-occurring Disorders, Dual Diagnosis is…

Co-occurring mental health conditions and substance use disorders affect nearly 14 million Americans each year. Of those only 19% receive appropriate treatment, with the vast majority bounced among treatment systems with different and opposing treatment structures. Few treatment programs specialize in treating complex co- occurring disorders. Nationally, research continues to reveal that people with co-occurring disorders need a specialized form of treatment, referred to as integrated services.

Chato: What is the treatment system for Dual Diagnosis?

Jesse: The treatment system for mental health and addiction have historically and continue to be separated systems of care. While many research studies have been performed on mental health and addictions separately, it has only been within recent years that studies have emerged on people who struggle with both conditions in tandem. This emerging research identifies that traditional separated systems of care not only alienate the consumer from treatment, but they also result in much poorer outcomes that those experienced by people with single disorders. More surprising, we are now learning from these studies that programs predominantly designed to treat a specific disorder are actually only capable of treating the minority of those in need where, in fact, up to 65.5% of people with a substance dependence disorder had at least one mental disorder and 51% of people with a mental disorder had at least one substance abuse disorder . We are also increasingly learning that these poorer outcomes result as much from these separate and contradictory systems of care as from the diagnoses themselves with people who have co-occurring conditions comprising the majority of the 10 percent of people using over 70 percent of the nation’s healthcare resources. There are now more than 14 million people in the U.S. with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders.

Free Mental Health Humor duel

Permission granted for non-profit use by artist: Chato B. Stewart.

^^^ When using this cartoon on your non-profit blog you must link us ^^^
Chato: Where does the Foundations Associates fit to the equation?

Jesse: We are one of the leading providers for Integrated Treatment, aka Dual Diagnosis, in the country, with 4 unique treatment centers and 5 locations. Our web site is and we operate a 24 hour call center based near Nashville, TN.

Chato: Since not all substance users are addictive abusers they just might be self medicating. Where is the line… Is there a line and Is the treatment different?

Jesse: Many addicts are self-medicating, but that is why we want to screen them for signs of mental health issues, like depression (sadness), bipolar (prominent mood swings), schizophrenia (hearing voices), etc. We can never know 100% about someone’s condition all up front, so we have our clients consistently see a Psychiatrist for close monitoring. Most of our clients will end up taking medication to help their moods, but some do not. All persons who enter our program must have some signs of possible mental or emotional struggles to couple with their addiction, even if it is minor, like “feelings of sadness.”


Our success stems from our ability to offer highly effective clinical services that are not based on historical confrontational approaches that drive consumers away from treatment. Combining our research based innovations with emerging evidence based practices, we offer some of the lowest dropout rates in the industry, meaning that clients remain engaged in our services. Through comprehensive outcomes data on clients six and twelve months after program discharge, a 3-year SAMHSA-funded evaluation of Foundations Associates residential program indicated abstinence in 70 to 80 percent of Foundations clients up to 1 year following treatment. Severity of psychiatric symptoms was reduced by 60 percent, with corresponding improvements in quality of life. Our results suggest that the model of integrated and continuous treatment breaks the repetitive cycle of traditional separate systems of care for people with co-occurring conditions. We attribute this to our practices of:

  • Motivational Approaches that engage clients and retain clients in services. We train clinical staff to use motivational enhancement strategies, a field tested method of implementing client directed services that maximizes client engagement and avoids use of historical confrontational strategies
  • Integrated Treatment where all behavioral health and addictions needs can be addressed in one setting, with a team of experts including psychiatrists, social workers, nurses, and licensed alcohol and drug counselors
  • Trained Staff who are taught to deliver evidence based practices of care through classroom and applied studies.
  • Client Recovery Workbook Series, a proprietary product developed by us based upon evidence based practices and our own experiences in treatment (link to workbooks?)
    Providing clients with comprehensive integrated information about how to maximize their recovery experience
  • Client Directed Treatment where clients are encouraged to determine the pace, goals, and course of treatment and are treated as partners in, rather than subjects of, the recovery process.

Chato: What is the ARISE Model Invitational Intervention?

Jesse: The ARISE model (A Relational Intervention Sequence for Engagement) is a three-level method designed to respond to the interest and concern of family members and others to motivate a resistant substance abuser or individual with behavioral problems to enter into treatment.

Thank you Jesse and Foundations Associates. Don’t forget that the first 5 to join will get a free prize!

Thanks for dropping by:
Chato B. Stewart
Mental Health Advocate - Cartoonist - and a few other things!

“Using Humor to Heal and Educate with badly drawn cartoons.”


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