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ACT and NSW Agencies Talk Drugs, Alcohol & Mental Health

Today saw the culmination of over one hundred community sector workers in what is Canberra’s biggest forum for drug, alcohol and mental health services.

When there is a co-occurring condition of alcohol and/or drug use and mental health conditions, this is known as comorbidity. Evidence has shown that when both conditions are treated at the same time the outcomes are more effective. Therefore it is important for mental health and alcohol and other drug services to collaborate and work together.

A recent statistic from the Australian Bureau of Statistics National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing determined that of those who used illicit drugs in the previous 12 months, 63% reported having a mental health disorder during the same period.

For these reasons and more, CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn hosted the 10th Annual Comorbidity Interagency Day for agencies to network and strengthen interagency partnerships and referrals, to better support individuals with comorbidity.

Given the level of commitment this work requires from staff and the resulting burn out rate, the theme of this year’s event was to look after yourself so you can better look after others. The service workers were invited to participate in Tai Chi, and listen to a guest speaker from Relationships Australia discussing strategies for self –care.

Among the exhibitions, there was a particular focus on young people, the homeless and individuals engaged in the criminal justice system, as these groups are identified as being the  most affected by comorbidity.

For further information about the day or for any media enquiries please contact Aerin Gordon Heinrich on 0419 555 560.

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