Experience and Expertise of People with Lived and Living Experience on the Integration of Mental Health and Substance Use Health Services in Canada

Keywords Integrated Services, Peer Research, Systemic Barriers, Concurrent Disorders, Substance Use and Mental Health


CAPSA (Community Addictions Peer Support Association) is a national charitable organization working to dismantle stigma and enhance the well-being of individuals who engage in substance use. They conducted this study with support from the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction.

The Report focuses on understanding how people in Canada experience integrated services for mental health and substance use health. Findings highlight how participants define integrated services, why they seek them, and barriers to meaningful integration.

Policy & Practice Implications

  • Service integration can increase capacity to respond to complex issues, coordinate logistics of care, and address concurrent issues simultaneously.
  • The Report’s recommendations include matching needs to services along the spectrum of care and systemic incentives for improving communication, coordination, and referrals.
  • The involvement and expertise of people with lived and living experience with mental health and substance use as research participants is unique and models a peer research methodology.

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