Collaborative care in mental health and substance abuse

Date produced 07 February 2012

Susie is a 33 year old single mother. She has a history of substance abuse and has cycled in and out of treatment for years. She visits her GP with a desire to start counselling and undertake urine tests to secure custody of her son. The interdisciplinary panel discuss the key principles of intervention and different discipline roles in providing integrated primary mental health care services to Susie.

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Learning outcomes

By watching the webinar you will develop a better understanding of the

  • key principles of intervention and the roles of different disciplines in providing integrated primary mental health care services to mental health and substance abuse presentations.
  • the merits, challenges and opportunities in providing collaborative care to people presenting with mental health and substance abuse issues.


Dr Michael Murray
Qualifications: MBBCh, Member of Australian College of Psychological Medicine
Profession: GP and Medical Educator
Based in: Townsville, QLD

Dr Michael Murray is a Townsville based GP currently providing medical education with Tropical Medical Training: General Practice Specialists. He also works at Headspace, Townsville.

Michael has worked for over 25 years as a GP in both rural and metropolitan practice and in indigenous health; his clinical expertise is in psychological medicine.

As the Mental Health Professionals Network’s (MHPN) main webinar facilitator, Dr Michael Murray knows as well as anyone the power of integrated communication. And as a career-long regional and rural doctor, he is profoundly aware of the isolation and restrictions to learning that GPs in the far corners of Australia endure.

He examined the prospects for online learning, especially in regional, rural and remote settings in an interview in August 2012:


  • Associate Professor Lynne Magor-Blatch
    Qualifications: B.A. (Hum. & Soc.Sci.), M.Psych (Forensic), Grad.Dip.App.Psych., Dip.Teach. (Sec), Cert IV TAA
    Profession: Forensic Psychologist
    Based in: Canberra, ACT

    Lynne is an Associate Professor within the Clinical Masters of Psychology program, at the Centre for Applied Psychology, Faculty of Health and the Executive Officer with the Australasian Therapeutic Communities Association. She is a practicing psychologist and maintains a private practice in addition to her teaching and supervision of Psychology Clinical Masters students.  

    Lynne has more than 35 years experience in the alcohol and other drug (AOD) field. She has worked within the non-government and government sectors as program director, policy officer and consultant.

    She has also worked in mental health:

    • Secretariat Manager to the National Mental Health Working Group and the National Comorbidity Taskforce
    • in crisis counselling and intervention
    • child and adolescent mental health
    • and forensic services.

    In June 2010, Lynne was inducted into the National Alcohol and Drug Honour Roll for significant contribution to the AOD sector over a considerable period of time.

    She researches in the areas of alcohol and other drug use – and is specifically interested in:

    • the effect on families and intergenerational issues of substance use
    • prevention and early intervention for mental health and substance use
    • recovery
    • mental health and AOD service evaluation.

    She has presented at international conferences and is a member of a number of Boards and Government Advisory Groups.

  • Professor Dan Lubman
    Qualifications: BSc(Hons), MB ChB, PhD, FRANZCP, FAChAM
    Profession: Psychiatrist
    Based in: Melbourne, Victoria

    Professor Dan Lubman has worked across mental health and drug treatment settings in both the UK and Australia. He is Director of Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre and Professor of Addiction Studies and Services at Monash University. 

    Dr Lubman's research is wide-ranging and includes investigating the impact of alcohol and drug use on brain function, the relationship between substance use and mental disorder, as well as the development of targeted intervention programs within school, primary care, mental health and drug treatment settings. 
    Dr Lubman has published over 150 peer-reviewed scientific papers and book chapters, and is Chair of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists' Section of Addiction Psychiatry and an advisory board member of the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre and the National Drug Research Institute. 
    He is regularly contacted for policy advice and community comment, and sits on numerous State and Commonwealth expert reference committees.

  • Dr Benny Monheit
    Qualifications: MBBS, MPH, FAFPHM, FAChAM, DipRACOG
    Profession: GP (based in Melbourne)
    Based in: Melbourne, Victoria

    Medical Director (SouthCity Clinic, Elwood), Adjunct Senior Lecturer (Department of General Practice at Monash University), Drug & Alcohol Specialist Physician (Alfred Hospital, Melbourne), Drug & Alcohol Physician (Moreland Hall)

    Dr Monheit graduated from Monash University in 1975 with a Bachelor of Medicine/Surgery. He completed postgraduate training at Prince Henry's, the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne and the Newmarket Hospital in the UK.
    He is currently a committee member of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Victoria Drug and Alcohol Committee and until December 2003 he had been a chairman for 10 years. In May 2005 he received the award for ‘Recognition of Outstanding Service to the College' from the College. He is a member of the Victorian Addiction Inter-hospital Liaison Association (VAILA).
    Dr Monheit has held the position of Medical Director at SouthCity clinic in Elwood since 1997. He is Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the Department of General Medicine at Monash University and he is a specialist alcohol and drug physician at the Alfred Hospital as well as at Moreland Hall in Coburg.


The following resources support the webinar:

Case study

Susie — Collaborative care in mental health and substance abuse PDF [510 KB]


Collaborative care in mental health and substance abuse PDF [2.8 MB]

Participants who attended the webinar provided the following feedback:

Learning needs

79% had their needs entirely met, 18% partially met and 3% not met.

Relevance to practice

99% indicated the activity was relevant to their practice (78% entirely relevant, 21% partially relevant). Most of those respondents who indicated it was partially relevant cited a low number of substance abuse and mental health presentations in their clinical work as the reason for this.  Of the two participants who believed the webinar was not relevant to their practice, one was a student.  

Practice change

74% of respondents intend to make changes to their clinical work practice as a result of attending the webinar, including an increased willingness to discuss other professional options with their clients (63%), improved support in the treatment of mental health and substance abuse presentations (56%), and improving their referral process due to a better understanding of different disciplines (56%).

This webinar was produced in February 2012. The Mental Health Professionals’ Network’s webinars are produced for mental health professionals. The information is intended for suitably-experienced mental health professionals and does not replace clinical judgement and decision making. It is intended for use as a guide of a general nature only and may or may not be relevant to particular patients or circumstances. The subject matter is not exhaustive of any mental health conditions presented. Health professionals implementing any recommendations contained in the webinar must exercise their own independent skill or judgement or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular circumstances when so doing. Any information presented in the webinar recording was deemed relevant at the time of the live event and after this date has not been reviewed. No guarantee can be given that the information is free from error or omission.

Accordingly, MHPN and its employees and agents shall have no liability (including without limitation liability by reason of negligence) to any users of the information contained in any MHPN webinar for any loss or damage (consequential or otherwise) cost or expense incurred or arising by reason of any person using or relying on the information contained in MHPN webinars and whether caused by reason of any error, negligent act, omission or misrepresentation of the information.