Skip to main content
Knowledge Exchange Portico Network
Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthKnowledge Exchange
Go Search

Dual diagnosis resources 

Information for Professionals

  • Dual Diagnosis Primary Care Toolkit
    A one-stop resource to help primary care providers care for patients who have developmental disabilities and mental health problems.
    • A quick reference (The Primary Care Provider's Role)
    • Care management tools and guidelines
    • Information to help you locate--and link patients to--specialized supports and services.

Research Programs

  • Health Care Access Research in Developmental Disabilities (H-CARDD)
    H-CARDD aims to enhance the overall health and wellbeing of individuals with developmental disabilities through improved healthcare policy and improved services. It addresses disparities in health status and healthcare access faced by individuals with developmental disabilities in Ontario, Canada.. The overall goal of the H-CARDD program is to monitor and improve the health and healthcare of Ontarians with developmental disabilities through engagement with researchers, policy makers, healthcare planners, clinicians, adults with developmental disabilities, and caregivers.

Information for your clients and their families


A Family Guide to Dual Diagnosis

Part 1: an overview of dual diagnosis, an introduction to treatment optionsand information about developmental disabilites, mental health problems and how they interact.

Part II: Information about the impact of dual diagnosis on family life and self-care strategies for family members.

Part III: Information about treatment and support for people who have a dual diagnosis including strategies for navigating the treatment system, information about psychosocial and medication treatment options and anticipating and coping with crisis situations.

A Family Guide to Dual Diagnosis (pdf)


  • NEW! What to expect when you go to the ER
    This brief clip with Dr. Yona Lunsky walks through what occurs at a visit to the emergency department with some tips on how to make the most of the visit. (3:11)
  • Use of emergency room services by clients with developmental disability 
    Dr. Yona Lunsky's talks about her research on emergency departments and what we should do to plan and prepare. (6:19)
  • There are no quick fixes: Comprehensive assessment 
    Dr. Yona Lunsky walks through the systematic process of figuring out whether someone with a developmental disability has a psychiatric diagnosis. There are several steps and Dr. Lunsky provides some practical tips on how to make the process as thorough as possible. (5:23)
  • Using emergency services 
    Jillian Carlyle offers some practical advice on how to plan for crises that might happen in the community, including how to work with police, what you can do if you call 911, and things to remember when going to hospital. (7:07)
  • The role of Occupational Therapists 
    Dual diagnosis requires an interdisciplinary approach, so Denise Dubois explains how Occupational Therapy can help. (7:17)
  • Understanding challenging behaviour 
    Louis Busch explains what behaviour therapists do when trying to understand why someone with a developmental disability displays challenging behaviour, and offers some suggestions about how he would help someone reduce this type of behaviour. (6:54)
  • Going to the inpatient ward 
    Anna Palucka offers some suggestions on how to make the most of an inpatient admission for someone with a developmental disability. (3:49)

CBC's The Current

    CBC Radio ran a segment about Dual Diagnosis on Thursday, September 20. Listen to the show.

Dual diagnosis: An Information Guide

  • Dual Diagnosis: An Information Guide This guide was developed for the families of people with developmental disabilities. It provides basic information about dual diagnosis and explains what we know about services and supports and how to best access them. It also suggests ways to take care of yourself while being a caregiver.

Links from the guide

Tools, Forms and Guidelines
Resources for social support

You can find helpful information about local support groups in your area through:

Some groups are focused on specific disabilities or specific cultural groups:

These regional support groups and family resources may also be helpful:

    Bookmark and Share