Caring for or supporting someone with a dual diagnosis in Scotland


1. Caring for or supporting someone with a dual diagnosis in Scotland
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Who we are
The Mental Welfare Commission is set up to protect the rights of people with mental illness, learning disabilities, dementia and other conditions. We do this by visiting people and making sure their rights are upheld. Where this is not happening we will look into the situation and may follow up with an investigation. We also produce information and advice and make sure any actions taken under the Mental Health Act are legal.

What we are doing
We are aware, through our work, that people who have a “dual diagnosis” i.e. have a mental illness and co-existing substance use, often fall between the cracks in services.

We plan to look into the services available, identify gaps, problems and any good practice and write a report which will be widely published and will go to all health boards and the Scottish Government.

We are aware of the impact this has on family and friends/carers of these individuals and want to hear about your experiences trying to care for someone in this situation.

It may be that the person you care for does not have a formal mental health diagnosis, possibly due to their use of substances, but we still want to hear from you if you or the person you care for thinks this a problem.

How you can help us
We want to hear about your experiences, good or bad, about being a family member/carer in this situation. This survey should only take around 15 minutes to complete and you do not need to answer all of the questions if you don’t want to. You can save and continue the survey later if you need to. The closing date for responses is 31 January 2022.

The information you provide
We ask some information about you and the person you support, like your health board, age, gender and ethnicity. This is just so we can identify which services are used and what particular difficulties they cause for different people.

All of the information you give us will be treated confidentially and no information will be used to identify you or the person you support. Filling in this survey will not impact on any support you receive or be passed onto anyone outside of the Commission.
We may use quotes in our report but they will never be identifiable and no personal information will be used in the report.

Privacy policies
We are using Smart Survey. Their privacy statement is available here. The Commission’s privacy policy is available here.

What happens next
When the report is completed it will be published on our website:

A copy will go to all of the health boards and the Scottish government with recommendations for improvements.

If you have any questions
If you have any questions about this project you can email project manager Mark Manders at