Family experience of Dual Diagnosis

Research exploring families' experiences of dual diagnosis, and developing good practice on the topic.

Year 1

Funded by the Sir Halley Stewart Trust, Adfam researched families' experiences of dual diagnosis - and developing best practice in supporting those families.

Dual diagnosis is the term used to describe people with mental health problems, who also misuse drugs or alcohol.

People affected by dual diagnosis often fall through the cracks of public services, and so do their families. Those cracks are widening as statutory services struggle to spread their ever diminishing resources. With mental health and substance misuse services coming under increased pressure, the weight placed on family members is growing, whilst the already scarce support is diminishing.

To understand how support can be better carried out we carried out detailed consultation with family members affected by a loved one’s dual diagnosis, asking the people who have lived experience of the issues to help in identifying the most needed, and most appropriate, support for them.

We will be publishing our findings soon.

Year 2

Utilising the knowledge gained from year one about the impact of dual diagnosis on families, we set up a monthly peer support & advocacy group in London to:

  • offer peer support in a friendly and safe space
  • develop an exciting advocacy programme to engage and influence key decision makers

Year 3

We are continuing to run our monthly peer support and advocacy group in London. 

We are in the process of creating a training package for practitioners developed by and with family members, a creative project to give family members a voice and show others that they're not alone and an online forum for families to share experiences with others.

Please email for more information. 

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