A Collaboration Between Researchers and Practitioners to Improve Care for Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders in Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment

by Suzanne L. Wenzel, Patricia A. Ebener, Katherine E. Watkins, Sarah B. Hunter, James Gilmore, Anne Reid Griffin, Susan M. Paddock, Wenli Tu

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Clients in substance abuse treatment often have co-occurring mental health disorders; however, substance abuse treatment providers may lack training and resources to provide for the mental health needs of clients. To address the gap in effective service provision for clients with co-occurring disorders in substance abuse treatment programs, a research organization and a substance abuse treatment organization collaborated to conduct a community-based intervention trial. By detailing their collaborative process and lessons learned surrounding the design and evaluation of an intervention to improve care for co-occurring disorders, the authors’ intention is to facilitate the collaborative efforts of other researchers and providers.

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