Streetwise, Otherwise, Selfwise (SOS)

In the Netherlands, an estimated 20 to 50% of clients in mental health care suffer from a substance use disorder (SUD) in addition to other psychological disorders. These clients with a so-called dual diagnosis usually have worse problems in different areas of life and psychological treatments are less effective for them. In addition, they have a much higher chance of becoming victims of both violent crimes and property crimes compared to other people. It is important and possible to do something about this, according to the SOS study.

Within this research project, the Self-wise, Other-wise, Streetwise (SOS) training was developed: a new resilience training to reduce the vulnerability to victimization of patients with a dual diagnosis. The SOS training is an interactive group intervention consisting of 12 meetings and focuses on improving emotion regulation skills, conflict skills and street skills. Role plays, visual material, creative assignments and sharing experiences are used, among other things.

The primary aim of the SOS study was to investigate whether adding the SOS training to the standard treatment of dual diagnosis patients resulted in a stronger decrease in victimization. This turned out to be the case: in the period of 12 months after the SOS training, lower victimization was present in the group of dual diagnosis patients who followed the SOS training. Although many questions remain unanswered in this relatively new field of research, this is an important first step towards reducing victimization in this group.

Link PhD thesis