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Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2021

This cross-disciplinary training curriculum for corrections agencies and personnel resourced under the federal Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) Initiative is designed to improve knowledge about the co-occurrence and interaction between substance abuse and mental health disorders among incarcerated populations involved in RSAT programs.


The training intends to prepare professionals involved in the RSAT residential and community program to recognize the nature and effects of interactions between substance-abuse disorders (SUDs) and mental health disorders in the development of their treatment components and strategies. Training Module I provides instruction in the signs and symptoms of co-occurring disorders, co-occurring disorders among the correctional population, and the relevance of this co-occurrence to RSAT programs. Training Module II focuses on screening and assessment for co-occurring disorders, with attention to diagnosing and classifying such a co-occurrence, integrated screening practices and tools, and a comparison of a risk-and-needs assessment with a clinical assessment. Training Module III addresses best practices for implementing integrated treatment. An introduction to integrated treatment is provided, followed by descriptions of best practices for supporting co-occurring recovery in RSAT programming. Instruction in developing integrated treatment capacities concludes this module. The appendix summarizes potential resources for insurance coverage and treatment services for individuals with co-occurring SUDs and mental health disorders. 104 references

Date Published: May 18, 2021