A Bendigo Community Health Services training system to improve the treatment of people with co-occurring alcohol or drug and mental health conditions has expanded across Victoria.

The web-based Dual Tools training system has been successfully trialled in the Loddon Mallee region and will now be offered statewide through funding from the Federal Government’s Department of Health.

Dual Tools uses online modules and videos to deliver quality training to health and welfare professionals.

BCHS CEO Kim Sykes said around 300,000 Australians with a substance use condition had at least one co-occurring mental health issue.

“This must be a horrible situation for these Australians and their families so we designed Dual Tools to support the health and welfare workers that help them,” Ms Sykes said.

“We use this system because it is proven to support the workforce in increasing knowledge, awareness and confidence of Dual diagnosis.”

Northern District Community Health Services alcohol and other drugs counsellor Deborah Herron was one of the health professionals to trial Dual Tools.

“Even though I knew a lot about mental health, I found the information to be very comprehensive, all in one place (and) everything you needed,” Deborah said.

“I liked the quizzes as you were able to check your own knowledge … there was no failure … they were there to help build your knowledge. I liked that you could do it at your own pace and you could come back again and again.”

Ms Herron said Dual Tools was helpful to organisations such as NDCHS.

“If everyone did it, it would build the base knowledge of mental health and alcohol and other drug issues, which are often one of presenting problems in a variety of allied health disciplines,” she said.

“It allows for early detection and appropriate referral.”

Find out more about the Dual Tools project at www.dualtools.com.au