Our Services

The Nexus Model


Nexus is a component of the Victorian Dual Diagnosis Initiative (VDDI)

Nexus was established in 2002 as part of the Victorian Dual Diagnosis Initiative (VDDI). The brief of the initiative was one of capacity building and more specifically, to enhance the capacity of Clinical Mental Health Services, Alcohol & Other Drug (AOD) Services and Mental Health Community Support Services (MHCSS) to work more effectively with clients presenting with co-occurring substance use and mental health issues (Dual Diagnosis).

The prevalence and complexity of dual diagnosis requires an integrated approach to treatment delivered as ‘core business’ within specialist mental health and drug and alcohol services. As core business within each sector, it is the goal of Nexus to ensure that people of all ages are not excluded from a service. Their needs will be addressed within the most appropriate service setting by suitably trained staff, and treatment and care will be of highest quality. The promotion and development of a systematic and integrated approach to service provision, focused on recovery and strengths, is aimed to optimise individual outcomes.

The priorities:

  • An integrated approach to mental health and substance use/addiction treatment and care is delivered as core business in both specialist mental health (clinical and MHCSS) and drug and alcohol services.
  • Appropriate treatment and care can be accessed through entry to any sector – no wrong door for service.
  • A co-ordinated hierarchy of client-centred, trauma-informed service responses that respond to varying levels and complexity of need, manage problems early in the most appropriate service setting and are linked by clear referral pathways.
  • Services provide a balance of direct care and the provision of consultation and support to primary care and other sectors working with people experiencing mental health and substance use/addiction (eg: housing, employment, education, community organisations).
  • Involve consumers and families/ carers in policy and service development centrally and locally so that services are easier to use, seen as useful and aligned with service users’ needs.

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System (RCVMHS) was released in February 2021. Nexus has focussed on ensuring information regarding the recommendations made in the Royal Commission documents have been communicated to the wider health sector.  Nexus has participated in numerous forums, panels, working parties and advisory groups, providing feedback to key stakeholder groups regarding the development and implementation of the RCVMHS recommendations.

Nexus have strongly advocated for specific key areas of co-occurring mental health and substance use/addiction be included in the new reforms.  Specific advice and advocacy regarding Victoria’s new Mental Health Act, and input into the establishment of the new Local Mental Health and Wellbeing Services have also been core business for Nexus staff since the release of the RCVMHS.  Nexus has also provided input into the development of Victoria’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Workforce Strategy 2021-2024, and ensuring that co-occurring mental health and substance use/addiction is included in planning moving forward.

in 2022, Nexus will continue to provide services to enhance workforce capacity and capability to address the needs of consumers/clients who present with co-occurring mental health and substance use/addiction issues, along with their other significant support people and families.

Nexus Catchment and Service Area

What We Do

At Nexus the team provide services to enhance workforce capability across state-funded mental health and alcohol and other drug sectors.  St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne auspices Nexus.

Nexus works with a range of agencies within the municipalities of:

  • Yarra
  • Boroondara
  • Nillumbik
  • Banyule

Nexus is also directly linked to the remote and rural regions of:

  • Northern Loddon Mallee
  • Southern Loddon Mallee
  • Campaspe

The Key Dual Diagnosis Service Strategies

1. Service Development

  • Intra-Agency: Policy, Procedure, Program
  • Inter-Agency: Partnership, Pathway, Protocol

2. Education

  • Conferences & Publications
  • Information & Education Resources
  • Education Programs – Graduate Cert./Dip. programs
  • Workplace Enhancement/Training

3. Clinical Leadership

  • Primary Consultation- co-joint assessment/treatment/case management
  • Secondary Consultation - clinical advice/review/supervision
  • Tertiary Consultation - clinical advice/case presentation/review