This course will focus on understanding the etiology and nature of co-occurring disorders. Students will explore basic concepts of mental illness and addiction. Students will examine the use of current DSM as a reference tool for understanding mental illness and addiction disorders. Models for the delivery of services to clients with co-occurring disorders will be examined from a theoretical applied perspective.
The following global ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:
- Services for clients who have a co-occurring disorder are best provided simultaneously by the same practitioner within the same organization as opposed to traditional models involving sequential or parallel approaches.
- Values, attitudes and beliefs influence and shape our interaction with persons with co-occurring disorders.
- Research demonstrates that comorbidity of mental disorders and substance abuse should be considered an expectation rather than an exception.
- Mental illness and addiction are medical conditions and should be treated and supported as any other illness.
- Knowledge is the first step to understanding mental illness and addiction and if applied without bias can lead to better care and treatment for people with co-occurring disorders.
- People possess an inherent capacity and resiliency that can, given an opportunity, mobilize change.
- Mental illness and addiction affects not only the mind, body and spirit of the individual but also impacts the health of families, the workplace and society in general.
- Conceptual knowledge of mental illness and addiction is necessary but insufficient for competent practice. It must be balanced with and supported by a caring attitude, empathy, sensitivity and acceptance.
- Mental illness and addictions singularly can be devastating and destructive illnesses, when they occur together (co-occurring) the difficulties become much more apparent and difficult to treat.
- Self-awareness regarding one’s personal values and needs, the influence of one’s past experiences, and respect for the limits of one’s knowledge/ability and professional role, are essential prerequisites for skillful helping with persons with co-occurring illness.
Methods Of Instruction
- Group work
- Student presentations
- Guest speakers
- Audio-visual presentations
Means of Assessment
This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations. Typical means of evaluation would include a combination of:
- Written assignments
- Group presentations
- Class activity participation
- Case study evaluation
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Articulate theoretical perspectives
- Define co-occurring disorders.
- Describe mental illness and addiction from a practical and clinical viewpoint.
- Understand the structure and application of DSM for clinical diagnosis of mental illness and addiction.
- Explain primary diagnosis most commonly associated with co-occurring disorders.
- Describe the various types, uses, and side effects of prescription medication.
- Describe the impact of inappropriate use or n on-compliance use of medication.
- Understand the potential interactions between psychiatric medications and drugs of abuse.
- Describe the effects of substance abuse on the course of mental disorders.
- Describe how mental disorders impact substance abuse.
- Understand patterns and prevalence of substance abuse among persons with mental disorders.
- Describe current and historical attitudes and policies.
- Demonstrate an understanding of past and present attitudes towards mental illness and addiction.
- Demonstrate an ability to challenge popular yet inaccurate beliefs regarding these illnesses.
- Demonstrate understanding of current and future policy and practice directions for persons with a co-occurring disorder.
- List the cultural barriers that may be present in the treatment and support for persons with a co-occurring disorder.
- Understand professional roles with respect to working with persons with co-occurring disorders.
- Demonstrate understanding of current and best practice approaches to treating and supporting persons with a co-occurring illness.
- Describe the roles of various professionals who work with persons with a co-occurring disorder.
- Identifies the importance of worker self-awareness and values for working with clients.
- Describe front-line worker roles and responsibilities in treating and supporting those with a co-occurring illness.
- Describe the role of family and other support networks in helping people with a co-occurring disorder.
- Describe best practice treatment intervention for co-occurring disorder.
- Define best practice treatment and support practice for clients with mental illness, addiction and co-occurring illness.
- Explain the importance of a strengths approach that mobilizes clients’ abilities.
- Define the difference between sequential, parallel, and integrated treatment of co-occurring disorders.
- Define the recovery and relapse prevention strategies to support persons with a co-occurring illness.
- List currently available services for persons with co-occurring disorders.