Mental health pathways for people with learning disabilities: The education, training and practice implications

Mental health pathways for people with learning disabilities: The education, training and practice implications

A gradual shift has occurred in services for people with intellectual disabilities in the last half century, in part resulting in a call to mainstream health and social care provision to improve access for services that are responsive to the specific needs of people with intellectual disability, with knowledgeable staff and appropriate resources to plan and deliver successful outcomes. There remains much work to be done to provide appropriate services to people with intellectual disabilities who also have mental health problems. The simple response is that services must change to accommodate these individuals, with adjustments made to facilitate accurate diagnosis, treatment plans and safe discharge. However, this simplistic response can often mask the complexities and challenges of delivering care in mainstream settings to this group. These complexities and challenges require careful consideration in relation to staff skill, infrastructure to support interdisciplinary working and the provision of innovative and creative approaches to care. This ebook aims to address some of the complexities and challenges faced in mainstream mental health services in three ways. First to highlight the specific needs of people with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems. Next to promote the importance of interdisciplinary working and learning in relation to mental wellbeing and intellectual disability, showcasing innovative approaches to care. Finally to offer a voice to specialists from intellectual disability practice and research to foster practical and conceptual thinking in relation to this group of service users.

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