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Mental Health and Substance Use Co-Occurring Disorders – An Overview of Skills and Best Practices (5-Part Series)

  • Access slide decks with the green download link above

  • Session descriptions and recordings below


Only 7.4% of individuals with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders receive treatment for both disorders and approximately 55% are receiving no treatment at all (Priester, et al 2016). Access, availability, and affordability to behavioral health treatment is even more difficult when residing in rural areas. This series offers strategies and interventions to address the challenges faced by providers working in rural and remote communities and explore skills and practices that can help support interventions for this population. This series builds on the previous work of the Mountain Plains MHTTC and Mountain Plains ATTC developed product "Depression, Alcohol and Farm Stress: Addressing Co-Occurring Disorders in Rural America."


Session One: Mental Health and Substance Use Prevalence in Populations and Key Barriers


Co-occurring disorders (individuals with both mental health concerns and substance use disorders) have a large societal impact on people living in rural communities where access to resources may be limited. This session will provide a review of key prevalence rates of mental health and substance use disorders with particular attention given to understanding the barriers to care that exist in rural communities.


Session Two: Case Management Practices for Supporting Substance Use and Mental Health Treatment


Effectively accessing care and leveraging case management services ensures positive outcomes for patients experiencing co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. This session will explore crucial case management skills that minimize duplication of services, support access to care, and ensure a client-centered approach is maintained throughout interventions.


Session Three: Contingency Management with Serious Mental Illness


Contingency management is an evidence-based treatment approach focused on the principles of behavior management and cognitive-behavioral therapy that provides incentives for meeting treatment goals. This session will describe how contingency management can be utilized when working with individuals with serious mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders to improve treatment outcomes.


Session Four: Clinical Supervision Practices for Mental Health and Substance Use Providers


Clinical supervision is critical in achieving a well-functioning clinical community. This training will focus on assessment and treatment planning (looking at the client/patient holistically) when conducting supervision sessions. In addition, this session will address the importance of expanding counselors/therapists’ clinical capacity with patients who present with complex diagnoses utilizing clinical supervision strategies.


Session Five: Providing Mental Health and Substance Use Treatment in an Integrated Care Setting


Integrated physical, mental health, and substance use care is effective in supporting the needs of individuals experiencing co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. This session will describe effective integrated care models that promote long-term interventions for individuals experiencing co-occurring disorders.

  • Recording coming soon