Mental health and addiction services have experienced frequent budget cuts in recent years, as governments try to contain health care spending. Yet, as Dr. Shimi Kang discovered during her earlier research at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, substance use and mental illness are major global public health issues. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) has developed a software program for making treatment decisions that consider resource issues. The program prompts interviewers to ask a series of questions, and produces recommendations for matching patients to the most appropriate treatment setting, based on standardized criteria. The software is now widely used in the United States, and studied in several other countries. However, the effectiveness of this assessment tool has never been studied within the Canadian health care system or with women, who experience different rates of addictive disorders and mental illness than men. Shimi is conducting the first Canadian study to evaluate whether the program can be applied to assess the complex biological, psychological and social needs of women with mental health and addiction problems. The results may lead to better techniques for treating drug and alcohol addiction and preventing relapse in women.