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A film about dual diagnosis

People with a dual diagnosis of both mental health and substance misuse problems are currently considered to be one of greatest challenges to services. Studies show that between 30% and 50% of people with a diagnosis of a serious mental health problems also People who have a dual diagnosis report how they are pushed from Pillar to Post – from one service to another, with each service offering little or no help or simply passing the client on to another service. The result is that people with complex needs often fall out of services completely.

Pillar to Post features people with a dual diagnosis and a range of experts who describe the difficulties faced both by services and service users. The film shows that many service users are self-medicating with street drugs because they find such substances more helpful and less damaging than prescribed psychiatric medication.

The film argues that the problem is not necessarily due to service users with multiple needs but with services whose approach can be the cause of many more problems for service users.

Pillar to Post presents a model of good practice which shows how by working flexibly and with the service user’s agenda, progress can be made with people who once felt they had been written off by services.

Cost: £35


Running time: 23 minutes

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Pillar to Post feedback

I found this film to be a personal and powerful account not only of the devastating consequences of these diagnoses, but of the meaningful and often common sense approaches that can be offered to individuals, which can make a significant difference. I thought the film well-balanced regarding specialist psychiatric services’ failure to provide meaningful provision for this group, understanding the reasons why this might be so, and demonstrating future developments for these services that could rectify this failure in the duty to care. Overall, I think this is a much needed educational resource.

Ian Ryrie, Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health

Pillar to Post is highlighted in Department of Health guidance on good practice in dual diagnosis as a valuable educational resource for practitioners. I hope very much that it will help to bring about improvement in the experiences of service users with this combination of problems.

Jenny Bywaters, Deputy Brach Head, Mental Health Services, Department of Health

A comprehensive and accessible introduction to the key issues for services and service users.

Adrian Worrall, Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Research Unit.

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