A question of commitment – improving practitioner responses to domestic and sexual violence, problematic substance use and mental ill-health

Holly, Jennifer and Horvath, Miranda A. H. (2012) A question of commitment – improving practitioner responses to domestic and sexual violence, problematic substance use and mental ill-health. Advances in Dual Diagnosis, 5 (2). pp. 59-67. ISSN 1757-0972

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/17570971211241912

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Purpose – AVA (Against Violence & Abuse) is funded by the Department of Health to deliver the Stella Project Mental Health Initiative. This project aims to develop and implement models of good practice for responding to survivors and perpetrators of abuse who also have a dual diagnosis. Marking the project's halfway point, this article aims to review what is already understood to be best practice in this area, to present the initial learning from the project evaluation, and to consider the most effective ways of promoting and enabling behaviour change among practitioners. Design/methodology/approach – The research design for the evaluation is a mixed methods evaluation, drawing on both prospective and retrospective research techniques. The design was developed within an action research framework. Findings – In line with other research, levels of routine enquiry or enquiry about experiences of violence were low amongst staff from all organisations participating in the project. In comparison staff seem somewhat more likely to enquire about substance misuse and mental health issues. Wide variation in attendance at training was found with a complex relationship between training and confidence emerging. Originality/value – This paper adds to the growing evidence base to suggest that a lot more training, organisational support and research is needed to ensure that professionals who have contact with women who have experienced abuse, have mental health or substance use problems are asking their clients about all three issues, making appropriate referrals and ensuring victims with complex needs having access to protection and support.

Item Type:Article
Keywords (uncontrolled):Best practice, Domestic violence, Drug addiction, Mental health, Mental health services, Sexual violence, Substance use, United Kingdom
Research Areas:School of Science and Technology > Psychology
ID Code:9582
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Deposited On:22 Nov 2012 06:03
Last Modified:10 Apr 2014 06:30

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