Alberta Council of Disability Services

Complex Needs and Dual Diagnosis

Type Synopsis Region Link/Contacts


The Complex Needs Initiative Learning Series will focus on important skills for front line service provider staff to deliver excellent services for individuals with complex needs. Most sessions will be delivered in either Edmonton or Calgary as well as available via videoconference - all session descriptions & registration details will be posted on the Complex Needs Website.

Sessions are:
  • Targeted learning opportunities which focus on skill building for staff who work with individuals with dual diagnosis and complex service needs.
  • Free to attend and resources will be available for staff to continue learning in each topic area.
  • Developing staff competencies as defined by a diverse group of contributors with experience with complex needs and as listed within the Complex Need Learning Framework.
Initiative Contacts:
Gloria Wesley, Manager
Provincial Complex Needs Coordinator
Disabilities, Inclusion and Accessibility Division
Community and Social Services
Government of Alberta
Sandy Marcynuk, Consultant
Provincial Complex Needs Coordinator
Provincial Planning and Capacity Management
Community, Seniors and Addiction & Mental Health
Government of Alberta
Provincial Visit AHS Complex Needs website for location details and to register for each session:
Click to visit website

This is an informal collection of on-line available learning/training resources related to Complex Service Needs or PDD/specific information or Dual Diagnosis services. This list is a sample of websites, education and training sites that may be of interest to service providers. Provincial Click to visit website
Resources "Cognitions Newsletter" (AHS)
  • Learning Events - this fills up fast!
  • Harm Reduction - A Way of Thinking
  • The Threads of Trauma: Why People behave the way the do
Provincial Email Daniel Scott to be added to the mailing list

Mental Health First Aid Training: Courses cover the following mental health problems: depression, anxiety disorders, psychosis, and Substance Use Disorder and the following mental health crisis situations: suicidal behaviour, overdoses, panic attacks, reactions to traumatic events, and violence associated with psychosis. They also provide training specific to youth and certified instructor training. Provincial Click to visit website
Resources System Capability to Respond to those with Complex Needs - Persons with Disabilities is a report written by Dr. Anne Hughson which identifies best practices in serving individuals with complex needs. Provincial


Click to visit website


Online NADD (National Association for the Dually Diagnosed): Introduction to the mental health needs of persons with developmental disabilities. A comprehensive training curriculum that has been used throughout Ontario for formal training and informal learning. Provincial Click to visit website
Online This Dual Diagnosis online course is a non-credit program comprising the first four chapters of NADD Ontario`s Dual Diagnosis text. Learning module topics include a basic introduction to the nature of developmental disabilities, recognizing and understanding the mental health needs of persons with developmental disabilities within a biopsychosocial model, and implications and strategies for optimizing supports. Learners are also introduced to the criteria used by health care professionals to recognize and differentiate various psychiatric conditions. Provincial Click to visit website