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People with co-occurring mental health conditions and substance use are a priority in the CESPHN region, and can experience barriers to effective service provision.

Comorbidity Guidelines

The Comorbidity Guidelines website provides evidence-based information, training and resources to assist with the management of co-occurring, substance use and mental health conditions.

This website and online training program was developed by The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use.

  • Comorbidity Guidelines: Free online training is available here
  • Comorbidity Guidelines: Order a free hard copy here

Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol Resource Package 

A resource package of online and telephone resources and online training has been developed to assist in providing effective support to clients with mental health and drug and alcohol conditions.

Resources provided by SESLHD Drug and Alcohol Services Comorbidity Clinical Pathways Project, funded by the Mindgardens Neuroscience Network.

Click here for more information.

Current Practices and support needs of healthcare providers in CESPHN in relation to addressing patients co-occurring mental health and alcohol and other drug issues

CESPHN funded the Matilda Centre to undertake a scoping exercise to evaluate the practices and support needs of healthcare providers in the CESPHN who work with people with co-occurring mental health and AOD issues.

  • The full final report is here.
  • A two-page bulletin summarising the report and recommendations is available here.

Mental Health and AOD Action Plan

CESPHN convened a working party to develop local solutions to increasing the capacity of the workforce to respond effectively to people with co-occurring mental health conditions and substance use.

Mental Health & AOD Action Plan

Mental Health & AOD Poster

Click here to read more.

Click here to go to Doctors’ Health NSW website.


This best practice guide has been developed to ensure that primary mental health services have the tools and information to effectively respond to demand.
This guide aims to:

  1.  Provide service providers with practical and implementable strategies for responding to demand and best practice management of waitlists.
  2. Improve access to timely and appropriate care and support for individuals seeking mental health services.
  3. Promote and support improved use of resources available across the Central and Eastern Sydney mental health sector.

Use the guide at your workplace now: Active Waitlist Management Guide


Alcohol and Other Drug Language Guide
The purpose of this resource is to provide workers with guidelines on how to use language to empower clients and reinforce a person-centered approach.

Recovery-Oriented Language Guide
This Mental Health Recovery Oriented Language Guide aims primarily to align with trauma-informed care and practice language approaches, introduce age-related language use and promote the use of supported decision-making language.

Talking about Suicide: A Guide To Language
Suicide Prevention Australia Guide to promote a positive shift in the terminology used to discuss suicide

Trans and Gender Diverse Inclusion Language Guide
The guide explains key terms and offers examples of language that can help us build safer, more inclusive environments for trans and gender diverse communities.

Demonstrating Inclusive and Respective Language Guide
Given the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and identities across Australia, you should always seek advice from your Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders regarding preferences and protocols around terminology. Please consider these guidelines, alongside guidance from your Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders.


K10 assessment form
K10 is widely recommended as a simple measure of psychological distress and as a measure of outcomes following treatment for common mental health disorders.

National Guidance Initial and Assessment Referral for mental healthcare
This Guidance has been developed by the Australian Department of Health to provide advice to Primary Health Networks (PHNs) on establishing effective systems for the initial assessment and referral of individuals presenting with mental health conditions in primary health care settings.

Suicide prevention – Safety Plan
Assists health professionals or support person and individuals to work together in planning out safety procedures during tough times.

YES Survey
Designed to gather information from consumers about their experiences of care.

Physical Health and Mental Health

CESPHN understands the importance of improving the physical health of people living with mental illness as part of person-centred health care.

The following resources may be of benefit to people living with mental illness, their carers, and supporters, clinicians, and service leaders:

Equally Well

The Equally Well website has been designed to promote collaboration, awareness and sharing of resources to help improve the physical health of people living with mental illness. It is designed for people living with mental illness, their carers, and supporters, clinicians, and service leaders.

NSW Health – Physical health care for people living with mental health issues

The NSW Health website has been designed to support clinicians and service leaders to implement the Physical Health Care for People Living with Mental Health Issues Guidelines.

Physical Health Conversation Guide

The conversation guide has been designed to assist conversations about physical health. It is for people living with mental illness, their carers, and supporters.


What can you do for your client’s wellbeing while they are waiting for their first specialist mental health appointment?

What can you do actively to manage their wellbeing and help them prepare for their first appointment?

The “While You Wait” suite of resources has been co-designed to help GPs actively manage their client’s wellbeing while they wait for their first specialist mental health appointment.

The resource suite includes:

While You Wait

A Conversation Guide for GP’s.

A conversation guide for GP to help them unpack their clients’ needs and start developing a plan.

Making Your Time Count

A patient handout.

An electronic or printed pdf. document that an individual can complete to develop a plan for while they wait for their first specialist mental health appointment.

Helping You to Support Them

Additional Resources for GP’s.

Additional resources for GPs including information on how to access CESPHN services to support GPs.

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