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Member since
Jan 2009

IKON Institute of Australia

Phone 1300 236 710
Address Level 3
127 Rundle Mall
Adelaide SA 5000
Locations View All 6 Locations
Dual Diploma of Alcohol & Other Drugs & Mental Health

Dual Diploma of Alcohol & Other Drugs & Mental Health

Dual Diploma of Alcohol & Other Drugs & Mental Health

Course Outline

Course Duration: 

52 weeks of classtime plus 200 hrs placement.

Delivery Format & Methods

The course is offered as a blended learning program. There is a 1/2 day classroom learning on odd weeks plus 2 hour online component and 1 day of classrom learning on even weeks. It
is recommended that students allow 2 days per week of self directed learning.

Student Support

IKON offers comprehensive student support including a student counsellor to support your learning needs. In addition, our dedicated placement officer provides student support, advice and guidance through the lifecycle of your work/field placement.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

RPL is a process whereby knowledge and skills you already have may be recognised, irrespective of where or how they were acquired.

Applications for RPL must be submitted and assessed PRIOR to enrolling in the course. Please contact the IKON Institute if you require information on the RPL application process and
associated fees.

Graduate Opportunities

The employment pathway for graduates may involve service delivery in direct client work, community programs, case management, residential rehabilitation programs, service coordination, team leader, and community development project coordination. At this level graduates may be involved in both direct service delivery and also the supervision and management of services.

Occupational titles may include:

  • Community support worker
  • Outreach worker
  • Community rehabilitation and support worker
  • Mental health rehabilitation support worker
  • Mental health support worker
  • Mental health team senior practitioner
  • Alcohol and other drugs case manager
  • Alcohol and other drugs team leader

Graduates will have developed an understanding of multicultural populations including Indigenous culture and be able to work with local communities in the provision of services.

IKON graduates will have developed high level specialist knowledge and skills in relation to alcohol and other drugs and mental health and the law, services and health and well being issues applicable to those impacted by mental health/ AOD concerns.

Tuition Fees


Payment Options

VET Student Loans
The Diploma of Community Services is on the eligible course list with an applicable maximum loan amount of $10,000.

Why Community Services?

The community services sector is vital to sustaining the wellbeing of communities in Australia. Community service workers provide welfare and support services to assist some of the most vulnerable people in the community and therefore have a varied and fulfilling job role that can touch the lives of many.

The following skills and attributes are highly valued in people working in the community service sector:

    • A genuine interest in community issues and people
    • Good communication skills
    • An ability to resolve conflict quickly
    • To relate to people effectively and patiently
    • To enjoy assisting people
    • An ability to work independently and in collaboration with others
Dual Diploma of Alcohol & Other Drugs & Mental Health Course Details

The Dual Diploma of Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) and Mental Health (MH) reflects the role of community service workers in both the AOD and MH sector. This qualification also enables staff to work more broadly across a wide range of community service environments. Workers at this level may have some supervisory responsibility for other staff.

The qualification includes counselling, referral, advocacy and education/health promotion services. Workers providing services within the AOD and MH sectors, require high level specialist knowledge and will learn the skills and competencies in regards to laws affecting clients, the range of services available to them, health issues related to alcohol and drug use and misuse, and health issues related to MH.

This qualification also recognises the need to adopt a strengths based, holistic response to working with people across all life domains.

Course delivery includes a focus on communication, ensuring graduates have sufficient skills necessary to operate effectively in leadership roles within the sector.



Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD)

In this module, you will develop an understanding of what it is to work effectively in the alcohol and other drugs context. You will be exposed to the different types and classifications of drugs, frameworks for understanding why people choose to use drugs and the factors that sustain or discourage use, prevalence of drug use, spectrum of drug use from experimental to recreational, to functional and addicted.

In addition to this you will learn to adequately assess the needs of clients who use alcohol and other drugs and develop an understanding of the types of interventions that could be used and when and how these interventions might be considered the most effective.


Advanced Alcohol and Other Drugs Interventions

After the development of foundational skills of working effectively in the alcohol and other drugs sector, you will now advance your understanding of how we may work with clients with more complex needs. This module will enable you to recognise stages of use and preparedness for change and the role of relapse prevention in working effectively with clients wanting to abstain from, or reduce, their AOD use.

In addition to this, you will be supported to provide advanced interventions for clients experiencing addiction, resistance to change, requiring a multi disciplinary approach to care that may involve multiple service providers and those clients who may be mandated to engage in our services and reluctant to engage.


Mental Health Practice

Within this module, you will learn to develop skills to support those in our community suffering poor mental health. You will deepen your understanding of mental health and mental illness and learn to recognise the risk factors known to contribute to the emergence of poor mental health. In addition to this you will build the skills to adequately assess needs, risks and factors for consideration when working in mental health.
Overall, this module will orientate you to the principles of good practice when working in mental health and how to effectively implement best practice programming and evaluate outcomes and effectiveness.


Recovery Oriented Mental Health Practice

In this module, you will consider your support for those experiencing mental health issues from a recovery-oriented perspective. The principles of recovery-oriented mental health practice ensure that mental health services are delivered in a way that supports the recovery of mental health consumers.

You will be further encouraged to consider your approach to client centred and strengths based practice to adopt an approach to client care that focuses on the skills and strengths of the individual rather than a deficit based model of care. Research and evidence demonstrates that mental health outcomes improve when they are supported in the community and encouraged to stay connected and involved in their friendships, community and family relationships.


Cultural Diversity

In order to truly relate to a person within their context (or within their world), it is crucial that Community Service Workers have the skills and understanding to work competently with culturally diverse people in a respectful and inclusive manner, and in a way that promotes cultural safety consistent with legislative requirements.

This module will enable you to develop a strong sense of your own values and attitudes and how this can assist you to authentically engage with culturally diverse people in a way that empowers them. Much time is spent considering the importance of understanding ourselves and our own cultural bias to support our ability to work inclusively and with understanding of others from diverse backgrounds.



In this module we will bring together our learning and begin to further understand the complexity of working with clients with co-morbid conditions. Comorbidity simply means the co-occurrence of one or more diseases or disorders in an individual. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse “Many people who are addicted to drugs are also diagnosed with other mental disorders and vice versa.

For example, compared with the general population, people addicted to drugs are roughly twice as likely to suffer from mood and anxiety disorders, with the reverse also true.” With such complexity involved in understanding the interplay between substance misuse and poor mental health, it is important that we develop the skills needed to adequately support clients in a way that avoids the duplication of services, poor planning or ineffective and inappropriate referrals between service systems.


Professional Practice

This module will provide an invaluable foundation for you to expand into more theoretical and practical skills in working specifically with clients with mental health and alcohol and other drug issues. Additionally, this module will enable you to develop a strong sense of your own values and attitudes systems and how this may assist you to authentically engage with people in a way that empowers people experiencing Mental Health and Alcohol and other Drug issues.
Much time is spent considering the importance of understanding ourselves and our emotional triggers and how knowing this can help us maintain personal and professional boundaries, develop a strong commitment to self-care and reflective practice and enjoy a long and fulfilling career in Community Services.


Trauma, Risk and Safety

Given the some what high risk and volatile nature of working in the Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs field it is important to be aware of the multiple risks, hazards and safety practices required to operate safely. This module will define and promote trauma informed care, and to develop strategies to address people’s specific trauma needs.

Trauma informed care involves providing services that are informed by the knowledge and understanding of the impact of trauma, in particular interpersonal violence and varying service practice to reduce the likelihood of re-traumatisation. In addition to the development of understanding trauma informed practice you will be orientated to some of the work health and safety considerations when working within the mental health and alcohol and other drugs field.

Contact us today for a full course prospectus, or to enrol in this course today!