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Substance misuse services and mental health services

Substance misuse services and mental health services

There are high rates of overlap between domestic violence and substance use. The co-occurrence of domestic abuse, mental health and substance misuse has been referred to as the “toxic trio”.

Evidence is particularly strong for women and men seeking help for alcohol or other drug problems, and among perpetrators of domestic abuse. This information is relevant to people who work in substance misuse services and mental health services:

  • Substance misuse staff.
  • Community Psychiatric Nurses.
  • Mental Health Crisis team.

People who work in substance misuse or mental health services often work with clients with complex needs, including those arising from experiences of domestic and sexual abuse. Clients may require extensive support for the addiction or mental health issues, as well as support around the violence and abuse they are suffering. However, better outcomes for the client are more likely to be achieved if any past or current abuse can be addressed.

What we are asking you to do

Increase your awareness 

It is important that you understand the signs and symptoms of domestic abuse, sexual violence and other forms of violence against women and feel confident to refer people to the right support services. E-learning is available through the National Training Framework that will provide you with a basic awareness and understanding on these matters.  

Report incidents of domestic and sexual abuse

It is for your client to decide whether to report what has happened to them to the police; there is support for them to reach this decision. However if they are under 18 you should seek advice from the police or social services immediately.

Work with other services 

Knowing who to talk to and who to refer your client to - particularly services with specialist knowledge of domestic and sexual abuse – will help to provide the valuable support the client needs and will ensure they don’t get lost along the way.

Guidance

If you sense that anyone is in immediate danger, call the police on 999 (101 for less urgent calls) or speak to any of the specialist services available in Wales.

Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence

Supporting people who are at risk or have experienced Domestic Abuse/Sexual Violence provides further information and links to general guidance.

You can also call the Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 8000 or speak to one of the specialist services in Wales.

Training through the National Training Framework will also help you understand more about these issues.

Female Genital Mutilation

Supporting people who are at risk or have experienced FGM provides further information and links to general guidance. You can also call the NSPCC FGM Helpline on 0800 028 3550 or speak to one of the specialist services in Wales.

Honour Based Violence/Forced Marriage (HBV/FM)

Supporting people who are at risk or have experienced FM/HBV provides further information. You can also call the Forced Marriage Helpline on  020 7008 0151 or speak to one of the specialist services in Wales.

Slavery

Supporting people who have experienced or are at risk of slavery provides further information and links to general guidance. Alternatively you can call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700 or contact one of the specialist services in Wales.

Policies & Guidance

Find relevant guidance and information on the VAWDASV Act.

Find out more

 

About Live Fear Free

Live Fear Free is a Welsh Government website, providing information and advice for those suffering with violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.

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