Mental health problems and people with intellectual disability

The term ‘mental health problem’ is used here as a broad term to indicate when people need help to deal with mental functions (emotions, memory issues, difficult behaviour and problems thinking or experiencing things normally.) In Australia the term Dual Disability is used to describe people with an intellectual disability who also have a mental health problem, in the UK the term ‘psychiatry of learning disabilities’ is the preferred term and ‘Dual Diagnosis’ is used in the USA (which is used to describe people with Substance Abuse and Mental Health problems in Australia) 

In the past it was thought that people with intellectual disability did not have the mental

capacity to develop mental illnesses. Do you think this is correct? Explain your answer and

continue below when you have completed this task.

Studies indicate that people with intellectual disability have high rates of mental health problems. These include illnesses like depression and schizophrenia which appear to occur at a slightly higher rate than the normal population. When autism and behaviour problems are included the evidence is that people with intellectual disability have higher rates of mental health problems than the rest of the population. One reason for this is that people with intellectual disability are exposed to more risk factors that increase the likelihood that a person will have mental health problems. If you think of things that make you feel unhappy or stressed these are examples of risk factors. They include things like being exposed to trauma and having brain injuries. Risk factors are usually categorised as biological, psychological social and developmental and are discussed under these headings.
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Module 1 - Introduction to Mental Health Problems in People with a Dual Disability