Co-Occurring Conditions Initiative


The Co-Occurring Conditions Initiative is an effort to improve the way services are provided to persons with mental health, substance use disorders and other conditions. The intent is for Behavioral Health Care Services at every organizational level and all contracted services to be welcoming, hopeful, recovery-oriented and culturally responsive in the delivery of services to individuals with co-occuring conditions. At any point of entry, an individual or family will be welcomed and assisted to obtain services best suited to meet their specific needs. This practice and philosophy exemplifies an overall continuous quality improvement process.

Why It’s Important

  • The Co-Occurring Conditions Initiative provides and encourages opportunities to build partnerships among BHCS consumers/clients, family members, providers and community partners to improve the quality of care for individuals and families with complex, co-occurring conditions.
  • ndividuals and families with co-occurring conditions are estimated to be the most commonly represented and resource intensive group that seek behavioral health care services.
  • Singularly focused mental health and substance abuse treatment services have been unable to adequately respond to the needs of those with co-occurring conditions. These individuals and their families are more likely to experience satisfaction and greater degrees of recovery when they receive integrated support and treatment for both conditions.
  • Unaddressed co-occuring issues can often result in over-utilization of criminal justice, crisis, health care, child protective and homeless services at an increased cost to the public system and society at large.
  • Service outcomes are likely to improve and costs are likely to be reduced when services provided are appropriately matched for individuals and families with complex, co-occurring conditions.
  • The Co-Occurring Conditions Initiative will assist BHCS in establishing a culture and foundation for Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) in partnership with providers, consumers, families and community partners.
  • Individuals and families with complex, co-occurring conditions are the expectation not the exception.
  • Individuals and families will benefit from services that are welcoming, hopeful, developmentally appropriate, recovery-oriented, culturally informed and sensitive.
  • When co-occuring mental health and substance use issues exist, each must be considered and addressed.
  • Specific skills are needed to address each condition and no single intervention can be applied to all. Flexibility and variety in treatment options are needed.
  • Join the Change Agent group.
  • Sign up to receive the Change Agent Newsletter and other info related to co-occuring conditions.
  • Use the COMPASS-EZ to assess the co-occuring conditions capabilities of your program.
  • Implement co-occuring informed practices.
  • Develop methods to more accurately indentify individuals and families with co-occuring conditions in your program.
Change Agents
Change Agent Directory

Frequently Asked Questions

What New

  • Earn Your Certificate in Co-Occurring Conditions (for Mental Health and Substance Use Staff)

Co-Occurring Conditions Resources & Tools


BHCS Annual Assessment: Housing/Living Situation and Co-Occurring Informed Practice
The FY12/13 BHCS Annual Assessment: Housing/Living Situation and Co-Occurring Informed Practice is due July 10th 2013. Here are documents that explain which housing and co-occurring practices meet this contract requirement.
FAQs about BHCS Annual Assessment FY12-13
Preview Copy: BHCS Annual Assessment FY 12-13 (survey monkey)
Housing/Living Situation Contract Expectations (one page)
Co-Occurring Informed Practice Contract Expectations (one page)

*CODECAT-EZ: Recovery-Oriented Co-Occuring Competency (A Clinician Self-Assessment Tool)
*COMPASS-EZ: Creating Welcoming Recovery-Oriented Co-Occuring Capable Services (A Self-Assessment Tool for Behavioral Health Programs)
*Contact Margaret Walkover for additional information
COC Action Plan
Principles of Comprehensive, Continuous, Integrated Systems of Care
Twelve Steps for Agencies/Programs Developing Co-Occuring Conditions Competency
Twelve Steps for Clinicians Developing Co-Occuring Conditions Capability
Welcoming Toolkit

Change Agent Newsletters
Spring 2012
Winter 2011
Fall 2011
Fall 2010

ZiaPartners, Inc. (Minkoff & Cline)
NIATx Process Improvement Toolbox

Contact Co-Occurring Conditions Staff

Margaret Walkover MPH
(510) 383-1781