Substance Abuse Counselor and Client Reports of Mental Health Screening and Enhanced Practices
NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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The objective of this study was to examine mental health screening practices and attitudes from both counselor and client perspectives in the U.S. Marine Corps substance abuse program. Method This study examined mental health screening practices and attitudes of 23 substance abuse counselors and 442 clients from six Marine Corps substance abuse counseling centers. Results After receiving training on screening and enhanced counseling practices, 76 of counselors reported that they almost always screened their clients for post-traumatic stress symptoms. Seventy-three percent of clients agreed that substance abuse counselors should ask about their clients stress concerns. Conclusion Overall, implementing screening for common mental disorders was feasible in this setting. Counselors may need further support to increase collaboration with mental health professionals and adapt treatment plans to address co-occurring mental health conditions.