Funded by the HSE, the Finglas/Cabra community came together using a participatory action research approach with deep involvement of service users. This approach has already resulted in closer working between the different agencies.
- The community response to dual diagnosis ought to include increased interagency collaboration; developing a more integrated approach between mental health and addiction service providers and referral pathways.
- Local service organisations need to consider the need for dual diagnosis and trauma staff education and training.
- The report recommends the development of a dual diagnosis assessment tool
- Recommendations at a governmental level include re-establishing the National Clinical Programme
- Improved case management for individuals who with dual diagnosis
At the launch event
At a very moving event in the Mansion house, to launch the report, two people with experience of the services spoke about the impact of dual diagnosis on them.
Marie ended up in Jail
First, Marie (not her real name) described how she got better with help from mental health services. Then life events intervened again. This time she was refused help because she was drinking. Two weeks later she was in jail, and then became homeless.
Mary travelled from Dublin to Cork and was turned away
Mary (not her real name) spoke about travelling from Dublin to a Cork residential addiction service with her son. He desperately wanted to be off drugs. But just like the original nativity story, they were turned away. At the centre, Mary was told her son could not be admitted because he was on prescribed psychiatric drugs and there were traces of cocaine in his urine. To general knowing laughter from the audience she said
“Well, if he could stay off it, he would n’t have to come here”
This simple statement shows the lack of common sense thinking in our approach to developing services.
We were involved in this study and you can see the final report here.