Mental Illness and Substance Abuse Service (MISA) Reorientation Project

In 2005/06, NSW Health funded a pilot project between NADA and MHCC to develop a training and agency capacity development initiative.

The project saw the partnering of pairs of drug and alcohol and mental health residential and outreach services to develop interagency skills transfer and the development of service level agreements regarding people with MHDA problems. It has provided valuable insight into the nature and mechanics of partnerships across NGOs working in mental health and AOD services. In addition the project partners have identified a range of joint initiatives which
allow them to access expertise from their partner NGOs to build organizational and workforce capacity in working with people who have mental health and substance use problems.

The NSW Government has ramped up its policy priority around Mental Health and the nexus between mental health and drug and alcohol programs. Substantial additional funding has been announced for the NGO sector to assist in increasing the capacity of these sectors to address MHDA in the areas of training $460,000 and research $3million. NADA and the MHCC will be funded to run these programs across both sectors over the next couple of years under steerage of the NGO Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Collaboration Group which is a formalization of the MHCC MISA Working group. The new group will provide report to the MHDAO Comorbidity Forum.



Richmond Fellowship; South Sydney Dual Diagnosis Service; Ted Noffs Foundation
Possible directions include writing up of collaborative care framework, sharing resources for research and establishing a forum for case presentation and discussion.


Charmian Clift; Phoebe House; WHOS New Beginnings Women Services
This partnership is continuing with some difficulty. Charmian Clift has closed unexpectedly and this has affected the planned skill sharing/training between Charmian Clift and Phoebe House. Phoebe House is exploring continuing with the Project using the expertise of ex- Charmian Clift staff in developing customised training for its staff.

The project has enabled the sharing of ideas and learning across the partnerships and the exploration of organisational changes that agencies can make to better enable them to respond to clients with MISA issues.