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The overall purpose of this initiative is to achieve the following goal: to better serve persons with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders so that they can continue to recover and achieve satisfying, productive lives. This document is an important step towards achieving this goal because it provides a coordinated and integrated policy framework, as well as a strategic vision, for the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Programs of the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) to implement the necessary action steps towards achieving this goal.

This TIP identifies key elements of programming for co-occurring disorders in substance abuse treatment agencies. The elements described have relevance for mental health agencies and other service systems that seek to coordinate mental health and substance abuse services for their clients who need both. For additional TIP publications, visit:

First report from the National Leadership Forum on Behavioral Health/Criminal Justice Services (NLF) which provides four recommendations for immediate action in the area of mental illness and co-occurring disorders.

In this article, authours Miller (New Hampshire Department of Corrections) and Najavits (VA Boston Healthcare System) suggest strategies for implementing trauma-informed correctional care, specifically addressing administrative support, staff development, programming, and relevant clinical approaches. The authours suggest trauma-informed care demonstrates promise in increasing offender responsivity to evidence-based cognitive behavioral programming, reducing criminal risk factors and supporting integrated programming for offenders with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. They further suggest that trauma-informed correctional care and staff training can help create an environment conducive to rehabilitation as well as increasing staff and institutional safety. To do so will require an understanding of criminal justice priorities, workforce development, and specific approaches to screening, assessment, and programming that unify the goals of clinical and security staff.

Dr. Roger Peter's presentation on screening instruments during the March CJMHSA TA Center quarterly conference call.