Job file: Dual Diagnosis Practitioner

Who’s doing it? Lucy Benham.

Where? Speedwell community mental health team,
Deptford, south-east London.

Job description:
Supporting and training workers in the
mental health team and in other agencies; working with clients with
a dual diagnosis (mental health and substance misuse problems).

Skills/qualifications needed:
Social work, nursing or
equivalent professional qualification plus three years’ post
qualifying experience in substance misuse. Non-judgemental
attitudes towards clients. Skills in assessment, negotiation,
advocacy, diplomacy and training.
What’s good about the job? It’s a new team in a
fairly new area of work, which is exciting and challenging. I have
direct contact with clients and a variety of motivational work,
training, supervision and networking throughout London.

What’s bad about the job?
Being part of a virtual team –
all based in different places – can make you feel isolated. It is
difficult to address the negative attitudes people sometimes
express towards dual-diagnosis clients. Trying to bridge the gap
between agencies with different concerns and priorities is a


G or equivalent.

What’s the job like?
It is varied and interesting. It’s
about improving the experience of services and the lives of people
with dual diagnosis and changing the culture in agencies to achieve
this. There is an emphasis on inter-agency collaboration, making
agencies talk to each other and to work towards a common goal.
Clinical work entails educating staff in skills of assessment,
engagement and treatment. Our team is positive and supportive and
has shared goals. I can work autonomously and prioritise my
workload. We have a service user group which informs our practice
and contributes to training.

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