On Call Innovation Conversation

Improving Outcomes in Dual Diagnosis Specialized Care

Held December 5, 2016



Did you know?

  • Individuals with a dual diagnosis (intellectual disability and mental health problems) are among the most vulnerable mental health patients and often fall through the cracks in the health care system.
  • Individuals with a dual diagnosis use emergency departments more frequently and have higher rates of psychiatric hospitalization (including alternate level of care or ALC status) than non DD-individuals.
  • Those with a dual diagnosis are frequently unable to access the care they require in their own communities and are often vulnerable to homelessness or involvement in the criminal justice system.

Consider this …

The Royal’s innovative Flexible Assertive Community Treatment Team for Dual Diagnosis (FACTT DD) is improving care for persons diagnosed with both mental illness and an intellectual disability by delivering care close to home—throughout urban and rural communities.

Innovations on an evidence-based model from the Netherlands were developed for individuals with DD and implemented in the Champlain region to create the first FACT-DD team in Canada. The FACTT multi-disciplinary team, with its unique skill mix, was developed from an active waitlist management strategy in DD services and from provincial and local partnerships. The team addresses service availability challenges in urban and rural settings with the goal of optimizing outcomes for patients, families, and health care professionals across the health care system.

Be part of the conversation!

This interactive On Call session will be presented by members of the Royal’s FACTT DD team and hosted by Erin Leith, Director, Education and Training, CFHI.

Join us to learn:

  • How FACTT DD built on a successful model from the Netherlands and made it relevant to a local Ontario population.
  • Some highlights, successes, and insights from the FACTT DD model.
  • How the Royal has successfully made the case for continuing joint Ministry funding of the model and innovative outcome evaluation


Robin Pow PhotoRobin Pow is the Director of Patient Care Services for The Community Mental Health Program at The Royal Ottawa Health Care Group. Robin initially worked as a front-line social worker with the homeless population in both Toronto and Ottawa. For the past 15 years she has managed a variety of community based teams including Assertive Community Treatment Teams, Mobile Crisis, Community Safe Beds, Community Treatment Order Coordination, Step Down from ACTT, Psychiatric Outreach, Homes for Special Care and Dual Diagnosis Services. Robin coordinates ACTT Central Intake in Ottawa, chairs the Eastern Ontario ACTT Network and sits on the Technical Advisory Committee of the Ontario Act Association. Robin is the health partner co-chair for the Champlain East Regional Dual Diagnosis Action Committee.

Susan Farrell PhotoDr. Susan Farrell is a Clinical Psychologist and the Clinical Director of the Community Mental Health Program at the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group. Her clinical work has focused on persons with dual diagnosis (intellectual disabilities and mental illness) and others with severe and persistent mental illness living in the community.

She is a graduate of the Champlain LHIN Telfer Senior Management Program of the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa. She is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and a Clinical Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa. She is the Director of Training for the Pre-doctoral Residency program in Clinical Psychology. Dr. Farrell is an active researcher in community-based research and evaluation of services for persons with developmental disabilities and mental illness. In the past 7 years she has been awarded 3 million dollars in funding from national and provincial granting agencies She provides national training for academic and health care providers and is a training faculty member of the National Judicial Institute (training provincial and superior court judges) in working with persons with intellectual disabilities and mental illness. She is also a member of the expert panel for the 2016 Provincial Consensus Guidelines for the Care, Support and Treatment of People with Developmental Disabilities and Challenging Behavior.


Erin Leith Photo

Erin Leith, Director, Education and Training, CFHI

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