Dual Diagnosis

The National Coalition on Dual Diagnosis

In November 2008, four organizations launched the National Coalition on Dual Diagnosis (NCDD). The objective of the NCDD is to support Canadians with both a developmental disability and a mental health problem, and their families. CARE-ID/ACREDI is one of the founding partners in the Coalition and provides the home website to access the Advocacy Toolkit and related documents.

Moving Forward – National Action on Dual Diagnosis

The National Coalition on Dual Diagnosis recruited an international Expert Panel to begin a conversation about the necessary leadership at the federal level in order to improve the lives of people with a dual diagnosis. To inform their deliberations, they commissioned an international scan of legislation and policies that pertain to people with developmental disabilities and also for those with dual diagnosis. The recommendations contained in this October 2011 paper are based on the findings of the scan.

Main Messages

Members of our coalition are determined to improve the lives of those who live with both a developmental disability and mental illness. These main messages will allow us to speak clearly and consistently about a population whose mental health needs have been ignored. This document was written for use by Coalition members when talking to local, regional, provincial or national representatives/groups regarding solutions to service and system challenges to meet the needs of individuals with a dual diagnosis.

Coalition Updates

Sep. 2012 Coalition Update

Aug. 2011 Coalition Update

Dec. 2010 Coalition Update

July 2010 Coalition Update

Review of Canadian Guidelines on the Use of Psychotropic Medication – what you told the NCDD, March 2010

July 2009 Coalition Update

Mar. 2009 Coalition Update

To join the growing membership of the National Coalition and receive updates of events or developments: send your name, e-mail address, note your organization and profession (if applicable) or ‘family” affiliation, and province of residence to: Susan_Morris@camh.net

Advocacy Toolkit Documents

These materials were developed so that advocates for people with dual diagnosis have the “tools” to help them make their case as effectively as possible. They are based on simple straightforward, plain language that the dual diagnosis field can use uniformly to make our case to decision-makers. They are easy to understand, put a human face on dual diagnosis, and outline clearly defined solutions. They are for anyone’s use locally, regionally, provincially or federally.

You can download the entire toolkit as a compressed archive, or download individual toolkit documents (all in PDF format) as listed below.

Position Statement – written by families and professionals from across Canada and presented to the Mental Health Commission of Canada
Factsheet – summary information of data available
FAQ – brief answers to frequently asked questions about dual diagnosis
Real Life Stories – to bring the day-to-day experiences to life
Glossary – explanations of often-used terms
Media Release – a 2-page summary released 2008-Nov-13
Backgrounder – explains why individuals with a dual diagnosis and their families experience service and system challenges
Plain Language Pamphlet – a 4-page document that explains what dual diagnosis is, what is needed, and the Coalition. It can be used to design your own pamphlet with your local information.

Recommended uses of the toolkit materials

  • Post on your websites
  • Publish selections in your organization newsletters.
  • Customize the material for your local situation – everything in the materials will not pertain to every situation. Cut and paste, and use what works locally – while adding your own spin.
  • Use portions of the materials to compose letters to politicians or letters to the editor.
  • Use the materials as “leave-behinds” when visiting politicians or government people
  • Use as a basis for letters to candidates and political parties during elections
  • Use some of the materials to formulate clear “asks” from decision-makers so they are not confused about what you want changed.
  • Engage local media to write stories regarding dual diagnosis – offer these materials as background for their stories.
  • Take the materials to conferences, consultations, and planning meetings to ensure fellow attendees are fully briefed on the issues you care most about.
  • Circulate to relevant government Task Forces
  • Take relevant materials to your family physician, professionals, para-professionals and other service providers to assist with individual advocacy.
  • Circulate to family members and friends so that they can understand and be more supportive.

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