Latest Public Sector News


Dual diagnosis for addiction and mental health problems

People suffering from mental illness and substance abuse issues have reported a marked improvement through the intervention of the drug and alcohol rehabilitation charity Westminster Drug Project (WDP). 

The charity, launched in August 2011, has supported a 60% improvement in the mental health of people accessing its dual diagnosis programme Linked In. Funded by Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales, the specialist service improves access to drug and alcohol services and provides integrated support for mental health and addiction. 

As many as half of all people with mental health problems also have substance misuse issues, it is estimated. The WDP is marking Mental Health Awareness Week 2013, the yearly campaign run by the Mental Health Foundation. 

Yasmin Batliwala, chair of WDP, and a contributor to PSE, said: “WDP’s experience shows that a majority of people who access drug and alcohol treatment services also have some form of mental health problem, including anxiety and depression. Despite this prevalence, people who have the ‘dual diagnosis’ of mental health problems and substance misuse often face huge barriers to accessing help. 

“Thank to the Linked In workers, WDP has also developed a mental health training programme for its workforce and we have now appointed dual diagnosis leads in all our services. These leads receive specialist training in working with dual diagnosis clients and support their teams to provide more effective help to this vulnerable group of service users. 

“WDP believes it is essential for all substance misuse services to train its practitioners on mental health awareness to help them deal with service users who have a dual diagnosis. In turn we want to see more mental health services being trained on substance misuse problems so fewer people fall through the cracks.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at


Janet Ruff   13/05/2013 at 17:02

It is good to know that more people are being trained on this serious problem of substance misuse that go hand in hand with mental illness and its devastating effects. My dear mother who was the kindest person had terrible mental health issues and no support network when she was out of hospital.

Add your comment



public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

What came first, the bad customer or the bad customer service?

17/03/2020What came first, the bad customer or the bad customer service?

Source: PSE Feb/March 20 Stephen Bahooshy, Senior Commissioning Manager and Nicky Selwyn, Carer and Service User Group Chair, Croydon Council.   Here it is... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >