Interagency collaboration in services for people with co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorder

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Historically the divisions between the mental health and substance abuse fields have been so deep that attempts to provide coordinated treatment across service sectors for people with dual diagnoses of psychiatric disorder and substance use disorder have failed. The authors describe a program in Maine designed to develop collaboratives, or communities of providers, who work together to offer coordinated mental health and substance abuse treatment and support. Surveys of provider agencies in one collaborative conducted one year and two years after the collaborative was established showed an increase in interagency referrals, joint assessments of clients, and jointly sponsored training and client services. Abstract Teaser