Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Concerns in Veterans

Kathleen Ray, PhD, LCSW and Patricia A. Findley, PhD, LCSW

This two-hour workshop is designed to provide non-VA social workers and mental health professionals an introduction to military culture and the prevalence of co-occurring mental health and substance abuse diagnosis in veterans. Participants will learn about the  availability of appropriate resources for veterans with mental health and substance abuse needs, an overview of culturally competent assessment with veterans, and treatment models for working with veterans with co-occurring disorders.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the meaning of military culture and how it applies in working with veterans
  • Describe the prevalence of co-occurring mental health/substance use disorders and the impact on veterans
  • List treatment options for veterans with co-occurring mental health and substance use needs


10:15-11:15am Overview of military culture
Prevalence of co-occurring disorders in the veteran community
11:15am-12:15pm Availability of services
Evidence based treatment models
Resources and questions

CEs: 2 Clinical
Level:  Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

About the Presenters

Dr. Kathleen Ray is an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work at Ramapo College and is a researcher at the Veteran’s Administration.  Her areas of research are in Problem-Solving Therapy for Veterans and reintegration of Veterans over the lifespan.

Dr. Patricia Findley is an Associate Professor at Rutgers University in the Graduate School of Social Work. She is also a Health Science Specialist (Without Compensation-WOC) at the VA New Jersey Health Care System at East Orange. Her areas of research and clinical expertise in managing chronic illness, disability, and trauma.

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