A foundation for dual diagnosis practice: wisdom, tools and resources

Kevan Myers, Simon Kroes, Melissa Petrakis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review


As a social worker a large percentage of the people you work with are likely to have a dual diagnosis. Social workers entering practice need to develop knowledge and skills in this area so that consumer (service user) and carer needs may be adequately addressed. Many of the basic principles of a dual diagnosis approach can be grasped early in practice. Some basic skills and knowledge can then build on firm foundations. Dual diagnosis practice aligns with social work practice principles. Social work practice engages with the most marginalised populations within society. Substance use and mental health issues regularly occur within populations who have faced degrees of trauma, social isolation and economic disadvantage. There may be a level of complexity when working with people with substance use and mental health issues, with stigma compounding both areas. Dual diagnosis practice is therefore fundamental for all social workers.
The aim of this chapter is to both outline a dual diagnosis approach and give some examples based on practice wisdom from the field over many decades.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Work Practice in Health
Subtitle of host publicationAn introduction to contexts, theories and skills
EditorsMelissa Petrakis
Place of PublicationCrows Nest NSW
PublisherAllen & Unwin
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)978-1-76029-451-9
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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