Resources on intellectual disability mental health for health and mental health professionals 

People with intellectual disability experience mental illness at higher rates than the general population yet are less likely to receive appropriate treatment. Barriers to access include stigma and exclusion, the person or their family and carer(s) not being aware of symptoms, and a lack of adequate training for health professionals.

To address these barriers the Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry (3DN) at UNSW, have developed a number of resources to assist health professionals develop the knowledge and skills to support the mental health of people with intellectual disability.

The resources include:

The Guide provides an overview of intellectual disability mental health and highlights principles for service delivery and practical strategies to deliver inclusive and accessible services. The Guide also includes a comprehensive list of tools and resources for inclusive practice.

The Core Competency Framework Manual describes the specific knowledge, skills and attributes required to provide quality mental health support to people with an intellectual disability. It includes a self-assessment tool for professionals to review their own competencies and detail plans for further development.

The Core Competency Toolkit provides guidance on how professionals can develop the competencies outlined in the Manual. Professionals can use the resource to learn how to make adjustments to clinical practice at each stage of the treatment pathway and gain an overview of suitable assessment tools.

The Early Intervention Framework guides medical professionals through cardiometabolic risk screening, provides intervention strategies tailored to people with an intellectual disability, identifies specific syndromes with altered cardiometabolic risk profiles and links to accessible resources for clinicians, people with an intellectual disability and carers.

The podcasts have been designed to educate health professionals on safe and effective prescribing practices for the treatment of mental disorders in people with an intellectual disability.

The free to access online modules provide education on mental disorders and intellectual disability, and include topics such as communication, assessment and management of mental disorders, challenging behaviour and emergency mental health care. A full list of modules is available at www.3dn.unsw.edu.au/content/health-mental-health-elearning