School of Health

Introducing Dual Diagnosis

Dr Darren Hill and Dr Bill Penson from the School of Health are introducing a new module in our Social and Community studies subject area.

Published on 24 Feb 2021
Image of a female student making handwritten notes from a laptop

Dr Hill and Dr Penson are pleased to be delivering a new module on Dual Diagnosis for local health and social care practitioners in April and May. This level 7 module is a ‘stand-alone’ delivery within the CPD suite. 


Dr Hill and Dr Penson, with former colleague Professor Divine Charura, co-wrote a practice-based text published in 2015 by Macmillan called Working With Dual Diagnosis: A Psychosocial Perspective which will form the basis of the module teaching.


Dual Diagnosis refers to the presence of both mental health problems and substance use/dependency problems which can present services and practitioners challenges, complicated by the effects of trauma, exclusion, and stigma. The psycho-social focus of the course (and book) aims to contextualise the problems people experience in a trauma-informed way that accounts for the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) as well as the devastating effects of pervasive moralising and a hostile socio-economic environment. 


We are clear that for as long as poverty and exclusion is a permissible state within the UK, practitioners are often working against the odds to have an impact on people’s lives. However, we want to support the possibility of change despite that. Our starting point is the need for theoretical and historical context for dual diagnosis (including the history of madness, and the history of drugs and altered states) before looking at the practical skills and approaches that can make a difference. 

Dr Darren Hill

Reader / School of Health & Community Studies

Darren's contemporary academic deployment is situated within the School of Health and his primary teaching resides within the Social Work & Community Studies Group. Darren also contributes to Youth Work, Nursing and Mental Health awards through the inclusion of substance use related teaching.

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