Addressing the challenges of Dual Diagnosis treatment in a Forensic Mental Health Hospital

Due to the nature of funding across Victoria’s AOD and mental health sectors, people with a dual diagnosis are often like square pegs bouncing between round holes in a fragmented service system. A history of offending compounds the challenge in accessing a model of care that adequately meets their diverse and complex needs. ACSO, in collaboration with Forensicare, has developed a specialized model of care that incorporates the use of the Risk Needs Responsivity Model, harm minimisation and recovery-orientated approaches to provide a responsive and targeted service to meet the needs of individuals with a forensic background, major mental health diagnoses and co-occurring substance use. This presentation will provide an overview of the model of care, as well as outcomes from an independent review, highlighting the benefits of this collaborative approach.


Lauren Carter, Senior Manager Clinical Services, Australian Community Support Organisation

Lauren is the Senior Manager for the Clinical Services team at ACSO and a Psychologist who has worked across various parts of the Justice system. She has worked with individuals with multiple and complex needs and is passionate about supporting clients to access a complex service system.

Jemma Stevenson, Senior Practice Advisor, Australian Community Support Organisation

Jemma is the Senior Practice Advisor of AOD and Mental Health at ACSO. She has a background in psychology and substance-specific interventions, working for ten years in the forensic AOD and mental health sector. Previously, she was the Senior AOD Clinician at Thomas Embling Hospital, working with persons experiencing co-occurring substance use, major mental health concerns and offending behaviour.

Shelley Turner, Chief Social Worker, Forensicare

Dr Shelley Turner is Chief Social Worker at Forensicare and holds honorary academic appointments as a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Monash University and Adjunct Research Fellow at the Swinburne Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science. She has worked for many years in youth justice, community corrections, problem-solving courts, and statutory social work.


Click here to view the Presentation Slides