Integrated Mental Health and Addiction Care: A Framework for Co-Production

Stirling, United Kingdom,

Session overview

This session explores the co-design and co-implementation of standardised but flexible integrated care across separate mental health and addiction services in regional Australia.

In the study being presented, a mixed-methods approach using Participatory Action Research was led by practitioners in existing clinical services. Partnership with a group of external researchers throughout the process enabled the experiences and expertise of clients and service providers to be combined with the best available research evidence. A model of care that is underpinned by evidence but also able to be tailored to different circumstances was co-produced, along with a framework for guiding services through the uptake of that model.

The iterative process of change that was undertaken to achieve those outcomes will be described in this session. Setbacks and successes will be discussed, together with practitioners’ and clients’ views of integrated care and of the solutions to barriers that they devised.

This collaborative study shows how historical and systemic differences can be traversed to improve treatment delivery for a prevalent and vulnerable population. It offers a framework for designing evidence-informed care that is acceptable to clients and feasible for practitioners to implement, and an opportunity to deliver meaningful support for people with co-occurring mental health and alcohol/drug conditions.