evaluation of ‘mental health and learning disabilities’ training by community residential support staff
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evaluation of ‘mental health and learning disabilities’ training by community residential support staff

Helen Costello Research co-ordinator, The Estia Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London
Steve Hardy Training and consultancy manager, The Estia Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London

Helen Costello and Steve Hardy describe staff opinions about the format and content of a training workshop on mental health and learning disability, and consider the implications of the findings for the provision of training and for improving the identification of mental health problems in people with learning disabilities

Although people with learning disabilities face an increased vulnerability to developing mental health problems, they use relatively few mental health services (Gustafsson 1997). In addition, levels of undetected mental illness are high (Reiss 1993). This has negative consequences for the quality of life for those with learning disabilities and their carers, and for the quality and costs of services provided in community settings. Support staff in community residential and day services play a central role in identifying, assessing and monitoring mental health problems, yet few receive training in mental health issues (Quigley et al 2001). Often, staff lack the necessary skills to detect the signs of mental illness and to recognise the need for further assessment (Borthwick-Duffy and Eyman 1990, Moss and Patel 1993, Piachaud 1999).

Learning Disability Practice. 8, 10,12-16. doi: 10.7748/ldp2005.12.8.10.12.c1647

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