• Mental health concerns in people with intellectual disabilities can be difficult to identify due to various factors, including the person’s physical health, behaviour and cognition, and formal and informal carers’ skill deficits and attitudes
• Knowledgeable and skilled health professionals must be present in the daily lives of people with an intellectual disability to identify and explore emerging mental health issues, make referrals, implement interventions and monitor outcomes
• Registered intellectual disability nurses play a vital role in ensuring that the mental health of people with an intellectual disability is addressed and maximised
Mental health concerns are prevalent in regard to those with intellectual disability. There are many reasons for this, some of which may relate to the causation of the person’s intellectual impairment. Other extraneous factors, such as the number of significant life events, may also result in compromised mental health. For many people, however, mental health problems may go untreated, which may relate to difficulties in diagnosis or in ascribing the signs and symptoms to other causes. With increasing numbers of people with an intellectual disability making use of regular community health services, and the reported unfavourable nature of such services, mental health problems may not be addressed. Registered intellectual disability nurses have a crucial role to play in ensuring that the mental health concerns of people with an intellectual disability are identified and addressed in an expeditious manner to achieve maximum well-being.
This article explores such mental health concerns and, drawing on a brief case study, describes the role of nurses.
Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2019.e1999Peer review
This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated softwareCorrespondence
Sheerin F, Fleming S, Burke E et al (2019) Exploring mental health issues in people with an intellectual disability. Learning Disability Practice. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2019.e1999
Published online: 14 November 2019
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