Over 400,000 Australians have an intellectual disability. Compared to the general population, they experience poor health outcomes, including higher rates of physical and mental health conditions, and premature death from preventable causes. Conditions are frequently undiagnosed, undermanaged or inappropriately treated. A range of barriers prevent people with an intellectual disability from accessing healthcare. For example, 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.
The shortage of education opportunities and guidelines in this area contribute to the lack of skills, knowledge and confidence reported by the health and disability workforce when working with people with intellectual disability. To address these barriers 3DN have developed several resources aimed at health and mental health professionals, disability workers and carers, which provide information and education on intellectual disability physical and mental health.