Education & Resources

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.

A Guide to 3DN Resources

2018 National Roundtable Communique

Research to Action Day

In July 2017, 3DN hosted a Research to Action Day at UNSW Sydney for professionals and carers with an interest in intellectual disability. The event involved an interactive workshop that showcased 3DN’s resources and how they could be implemented. 

You can find out more about the event in the Research to Action Day program.

While people with an intellectual disability experience higher rates of mental health disorders than the general population, they also experience considerable barriers to receiving quality health care. One such barrier is a lack of workforce capacity in mainstream mental health services.

Disability professionals play a significant role in supporting people with intellectual disability in their daily lives. Given their frequent contact they are in a key position to identify signs and symptoms of a mental illness and to assist the person to access mental health support.

People with intellectual disability are at increased likelihood of experiencing mental illness but are less likely to receive treatment than people without intellectual disability. This can affect carer health and wellbeing.