Health & Mental Health Professionals

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. Mental health professionals report a lack of confidence and knowledge when working with people with an intellectual disability. In Australia, there is a lack of training in this area during undergraduate/postgraduate education, and limited opportunities for professional development once mental health professionals are qualified. Steps are needed to increase workforce capacity in this area through education and training. 3DN has developed a range of resources for mental health professionals including a core competency framework and online modules to help them develop the necessary knowledge and skills to provide quality health care to people with an intellectual disability.

The 2018 National Roundtable on the Mental Health of People with Intellectual Disability was hosted at UNSW Sydney in March 2018 and brought together 130 clinicians, academics and sector representatives to workshop recommendations to improve mental health services and outcomes for this population

The e-Learning site www.idhealtheducation.edu.au was launched on 22 July 2013. The site is an interactive education resource for everyone with an interest in intellectual disability mental health. There are currently 17 e-Learning modules available for health and mental health professionals, with further modules planned to be released in the future.

The Guide provides an overview of intellectual disability mental health and the importance of accessible services, including information on the mental health needs of people with intellectual disability and the barriers to accessing appropriate mental health services.