The Dual Diagnosis Forum provides an opportunity for networking, idea sharing and reflection among people who provide supports to others facing the dual challenge of mental retardation and mental illness. The Forum brings together Pennsylvanians who are dedicated to improving the ways in which people with mental retardation and a concurrent mental illness are supported, served and perceived in their homes and communities. It is a cooperative effort involving service providers, advocates, families, the psychiatric and medical communities, county Mental Health & Mental Retardation agencies and representatives from the Pennsylvania Offices of Mental Retardation (OMR) and Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS). Membership is voluntary and is open to anyone. The Forum was organized in response to the belief that people with the concurrent disabilities of mental retardation and mental illness have often been rendered invisible in the eyes of professionals and that they have frequently been served ineffectively and inappropriately. The Forum will explore the issues which impact upon the provision of services and supports to these individuals and will attempt to effect positive changes in those services and in the lives of the people involved.

As an adjunct to the work of the Dual Diagnosis Forum, the Pennsylvania Office of Mental Retardation has established a new publication, the Pennsylvania Journal On Positive Approaches, which is dedicated to helping people with developmental disabilities and challenging behaviors live fulfilling, Every Day lives. The Journal has been linked to the Forum home page in recognition of our shared missions.


MISSION STATEMENT

The Mission of the Dual Diagnosis Forum is to facilitate activities which will assure that individuals with mental retardation who also have a mental illness are treated with respect, dignity, quality services and choice in their community.

OBJECTIVES

Provide a forum for the development of issues around Dual Diagnosis and raise those issues with the Offices of Mental Retardation, Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services and Medical Assistance;

Act as a "think tank" for developing approaches on individual services and supports as well as system change issues;

Provide a network for developing and sharing resources;

Provide a feedback loop on the emerging Behavioral Health managed care system;

Develop ways to build local capacity to better serve people with a dual diagnosis;

Assure that both systems are exposed to state of the art approaches to services and education, and;

Facilitate discussions concerning the provision of community supports to people with a diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or Autism.

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This Web Site is not a production of, nor is it endorsed by, either the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the PA Department of Public Welfare. The views represented here are those of the Dual Diagnosis Forum. This site has been made possible through the generosity of David Pirmann and "Quuxuum.Org". Technical assistance has been provided by CMP Web Works, Barto, PA. Comments and suggestions about the work of the Forum should be addressed to our Guest Book. Comments, suggestions and questions about this Web Site should also be addressed to the Webmaster, J. Gregory Pirmann at jgreg123@prolog.net. This page was last modified on September 26, 1997.