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Resources for clinicians

Training, resources and webinars for clinicians

National evidence-based guidelines, online resources and evidence-based training to support and upskill healthcare professionals.

National Comorbidity Guidelines

Visit comorbidityguidelines.org.au to access the online guidelines, training and other resources.

The guidelines on the management of co-occurring alcohol and other drug and mental conditions in alcohol and other drug treatment settings (2nd edition) are available in the following formats:

The Comorbidity Guidelines online training program has been developed to assist alcohol and other drug (AOD) workers working with clients with co-occurring mental health conditions in AOD treatment settings.

  • Cost: FREE
  • Length: 10 training modules that can be completed at your own pace in any order
  • Suitable for: There are no prerequisites to enrol in the training program; however, it is assumed that participants will have an understanding of AOD use.
  • Outcomes:
    • Increased knowledge and awareness of mental health conditions
    • Improved confidence in working with clients with comorbid mental health conditions
    • Improved ability to identify mental health conditions
    • Improved ability to recognise and respond to physical health comorbidities
    • Understand delivery of a coordinated care approach to clients with comorbid mental health conditions
    • Understand management and treatment of comorbid mental health conditions
    • Improved ability to manage their own self-care.

Further information and access to training modules is available via the Comorbidity Guidelines website.

The National Comorbidity Guidelines Face-to-Face Training Program was developed as an accompaniment to the Comorbidity Guidelines and online training program, and can be delivered in person or online. Together, these resources aim to provide alcohol and other drug (AOD) workers with up-to-date, evidence-based information on the management of co-occurring mental health conditions in AOD treatment settings. They are based on the best available evidence and were developed in collaboration with clinicians, researchers, consumers and carers from across Australia.

The intended outcomes from the face-to-face training are:

  • increased knowledge and awareness of how to identify, manage and treat co-occurring mental health conditions in AOD treatment settings
  • improved confidence and skills of AOD workers
  • increased utilisation of evidence-based care.

Who is the National Comorbidity Guidelines Face-to-Face Training Program suitable for?

The face-to-face training program was designed to meet the needs of workers in the AOD sector in managing co-occurring AOD and mental health conditions. The training is suitable for workers from a range of practice backgrounds, and with varying levels of experience.

Program modules

The training program comprises seven half-day modules. The first two modules, ‘Understanding Comorbidity’ and ‘Screening and Assessment’ are core modules that should be offered to all AOD workers and delivered before Modules 3 to 7. Modules 3 to 7 are optional modules and can be chosen based on relevance to the workplace, workforce and the organisation’s client profile. Module 3 addresses treatment approaches. Modules 4 to 7 address the most prevalent mental health disorders in AOD treatment settings. The complete program could be delivered in three and a half days, or module by module over a period of weeks or months as required.

  • Module 1 Understanding Comorbidity (core module)
  • Module 2 Screening and Assessment (core module)
  • Module 3 Applying Motivational Enhancement, Cognitive and Behavioural Approaches to Co-Occurring Disorders
  • Module 4 Anxiety, Depression and Bipolar Disorder
  • Module 5 Personality Disorders
  • Module 6 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Module 7 Psychosis, Eating Disorders and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Skills required by the training program facilitator

Training facilitators are required to have successfully completed a Comorbidity Guidelines train-the-trainer workshop; have completed tertiary training in a relevant field; have a comprehensive knowledge of comorbidity; be skilled in AOD and mental health interventions; and possess sound training skills.

For more information about the face-to-face training and trainers near you, visit the Comorbidity Guidelines website or contact training@comorbidityguidelines.org.au.

Train-the-trainer workshops have been developed in collaboration with 360Edge, for trainers who have the capacity to deliver training within their workplace. Trainers will become registered trainers with the Matilda Centre, able to provide evidence-based training for AOD workers to improve their capacity to manage co-occurring mental disorders.

Where: Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, train-the-trainer workshops are currently only available online. Applications are currently open for May 20th and July 8th 2021 workshops (8:30am-4:30pm AEST). Applications close 7th May.

Cost: There is no cost to attend these workshops.

Who should attend: Training facilitators are required to have successfully completed tertiary training in a relevant field; have a comprehensive knowledge of comorbidity and/or experience working with people experiencing co-occurring mental and substance use disorders; be skilled in substance use and mental health interventions; possess sound training skills, and have the capacity to deliver workplace training.

Skills gained: Trainers will become registered trainers through the Matilda Centre, and subject to signing licensing agreements, able to deliver the National Comorbidity Guidelines Face-to-Face Training Program. Participants of the Trainer workshop will receive a certificate of completion, which depending on their registration provider, may be used towards continuing professional development.

Find out more and apply for upcoming workshops at the Comorbidity Guidelines website or contact training@comorbidityguidelines.org.au.

Comorbidity Guidelines has additional resources to help clinicians, including:

  • Client worksheets
  • Screeners
  • Assessments
  • Evidence-based practice webinars
  • Cognitive behavioural techniques
  • Anxiety management techniques
  • Referral pro-forma
  • Links to useful resources, guidelines, research and information organisations Visit the Comorbidity Guidelines website to access these resources.

Visit the Comorbidity Guidelines website to access these resources.

COPE program

Concurrent treatment of PTSD and substance use disorders using prolonged exposure (COPE): a treatment manual.

Based on a study conducted by our researchers we've developed the Concurrent Treatment of PTSD and Substance Use Disorders Using Prolonged Exposure (COPE) Program.

This is a cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy program designed for patients who have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a co-occurring alcohol or drug use disorder. The therapist guide (for clinicians) and patient workbook are available to order online.

Researchers at the Matilda Centre are currently recruiting adolescents and young adults for a radomised controlled trial, COPE-A. We are comparing the efficiency of two psychological therapies for co-occurring substance use and traumatic stress among young people aged 12-21 years. Young people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event may be eligible for up to 16 sessions with a psychologist as part of the study.

Cracks in the Ice for health professionals

The Cracks in the Ice online community toolkit has a dedicated section for health professionals to help guide professionals in their practice when faced with issues related to ice (crystal methamphetamine) and provides access to a range of factsheets, guidelines, webinars and online resources for professionals working across a range of sectors, including:

  • General Practitioners
  • Frontline workers in hospital settings and emergency departments
  • Frontline workers in alcohol and other drug settings
  • Mental health practitioners (eg psychologists, social workers and counsellors)
  • Paramedics
  • Police Services

Explore the resources at Cracks in the Ice.

Preventure training for clinicians and youth workers

Our Preventure facilitator training workshops enable you to implement the Preventure program in your local area.

  • Length: 2-3 days training workshop plus 4 hours supervised practice
  • Suitable for: Mental health practitioners and youth workers
  • Outcomes: Upon completion of training and supervision requirements you will be able to run Preventure in your local area

Preventure is an intervention aimed at reducing adolescent drug and alcohol use in high-risk teenagers. Teens with high-risk personality profiles as identified by a screening questionnaire are invited to participate in two 90-minute group workshops. The Preventure program has proven both feasible and effective when delivered by trained school staff and clinicians and we are currently expanding our facilitator training to youth workers. Program materials were developed in Canada by Professor Patricia Conrod but have been culturally adapted for implementation in Australia.

For more information and to register for upcoming workshops in Australia please contact Dr Erin Kelly at erin.k@sydney.edu.au.

Primary Health Network webinars

Researchers at the Matilda Centre have been funded by PHNs from Sydney North (SNHN) and Central and Eastern Sydney (CESPHN) to develop and deliver a series of webinars on alcohol and other drugs.

Access the Primary Health Network webinar series playlist on YouTube 

You can find recordings and PDF handouts from our previous webinars below. For more information about the PHN webinar series contact us