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Dual Diagnosis - SUMITT

Substance Use and Mental Illness Treatment Team

SUMITT is an innovative program established in 1998 with funding from the Department of Human Services Mental Health Branch and Drug Treatment Services. This was the first project in Australia to address the co-conditions of mental illness and substance use.

A SUMITT clinician is co-located in each NorthWestern Mental Health service, South West Area Mental Health Service, Royal Childrens Hospital, Ballarat Health, Barwon Health, Goulbourn Valley Health and South West Health Care.

The staff members aim to provide clinical services to individuals who have a 'dual diagnosis', to improve their health outcomes, upgrade the skills of clinicians in both mental health and drug and alcohol services, and to enhance the effectiveness of the service system in the provision of care and treatment to people who have co-existing disorders.

SUMITT services include:

  • clinical services in collaboration with the primary case manager within a harm reduction framework
  • comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment of both disorders and treatment recommendations
  • secondary consultations
  • service development to address care and treatment barriers
  • education and training to mental health, drug and alcohol and PDRSS staff.

The use of alcohol and other drugs can have a negative effect on mental health, may prolong recovery, or interfere with prescribed medication and therapies. It can also impact on other people. For these reasons, all NorthWestern Mental Health facilities are 'alcohol and other drug free environments'.


These brochures describe how these different drugs affect your body and your mental health. They also give you information about what happens when you stop taking these drugs or what to do if a friend overdoses.

Alcohol and your mental health

Benzodiazepines and your mental health 

Cannabis and your mental health

Heroin and your mental health

Inhalants and your mental health

Methamphetamines and your mental health 



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