Clients with substance abuse and mental health concerns: A guide for conducing intake interviews

  • Christiane Brems
  • Mark E. Johnson
  • Lorraine L. Namyniuk
Brief Reports


Although comorbidity (co-occurrence of a psychiatric and substance use disorder) is a common phenomenon at both mental health and substance abuse treatment agencies, rarely do such agencies thoroughly assess for both types of diagnoses during their standard intake interview. This article describes the development of an intake form designed to guide a comprehensive assessment of both mental health and substance abuse concerns. The form guides intake interviewers toward documenting administrative and demographic information, substance use and mental health concerns, and variables needed for compliance with grant funding sources. Use of the protocol can provide a clinical foundation for treatment planning and continuity of care for clients, while also providing error-free agency data that can be used for administrative, program planning, outcome assessment, and research purposes.


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavioral Healthcare Management, NCCBH 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christiane Brems
    • 1
  • Mark E. Johnson
    • 1
  • Lorraine L. Namyniuk
    • 2
  1. 1.Alaska Comprehensive and Specialized Evaluation Services, Department of PsychologyUniversity of AlaskaAnchorage
  2. 2.Covenant House AlaskaUSA

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