I am delighted to bring you a special mental health and intellectual disability (MHID) edition of Frontline Ireland magazine. Among other articles of interest...
Developing Mental Health Services for Adults and Children with Intellectual Disability across Ireland
Mental health services in Ireland have been evolving over the last 12 years, in line with “A Vision for Change” (2006), a blueprint for future mental health services. Overall, there is much more of a national awareness of mental health issues and the importance of mental health promotion. In terms of service provision, the HSE and other organisations have worked together on significantly advancing the development of mental health services for general adult, older persons, children and adolescent populations, in line with A Vision for Change’s recommendations.
In this article I will describe the role of the Occupational Therapist in the area Mental Health of Intellectual Disability. In the first section I will describe the concepts behind the profession, and then briefly describe some of the assessments used. This will be followed by the largest section which will include a description of the interventions with case study examples. Finally the conclusion will bring each of these strands together.
The aim of social work is to support the person with the dual diagnosis of intellectual disability and mental health issues, as well as the people in their lives as they experience changes and losses brought about by their condition.
Neurodevelopmental disorders include learning disability, autism, ADHD, specific learning disorders, developmental coordination disorder, tic disorder, stereotypic movement disorder and now many researchers regard schizophrenia and bipolar as also being on the neurodevelopmental spectrum as well. As Michael Owen and Michael O’Donovan (2017) point out, there is a gradient of decreasing neurodevelopmental impairment from intellectual disability, autism, ADHD, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. They also identify that, “recent genomic studies have identified large numbers of specific risk DNA changes and offer a direct and robust test of the predictions of the neurodevelopmental continuum model and gradient hypothesis”.
Community services for people with Intellectual Disability (ID) are well-established in the UK, having a long history of providing support to adults and children with ID and their families. The role of community services includes providing direct care and supporting people with ID to gain access to the mainstream services to which they are entitled, e.g. GP services. Legislation and policy have been useful in ensuring progress is made to enable services and agencies to be more inclusive of people with ID living in the community (Equality Act 2010; DDA 1995).
My name is gough, from Beernuts Productions, a predominantly film production company, based in Australia. I say predominantly, because we also produce audio downloads and books. I am also legally blind, making me the first blind person in the world to write, produce, edit, direct and star in a feature film unassisted.
With the implementation of the HIQA standards and the Health Act (2007), the provision of Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) in Ireland is an area of intense focus for ID services. It is becoming recognised as its own unique area of speciality using PBS as its approach (Kincaid et al, 2015; Gore et al, 2013). Traditionally, the science of behaviour change has been embedded within a number of professions and covered as a speciality in a variety of graduate programmes including psychology, nursing, education and social care.
I have been involved with the Irish Down Syndrome Sporting Organisation (IDSSO) for about 16 years. As well as competition, the IDSSO has given me wonderful opportunities to travel, meet new friends and have fun. The organisation selects and trains teams to compete in national, international and World Down Syndrome Swimming Championships. Team Ireland has been very successful at these events.
In June of last year, the Nursing Network in Intellectual Disability Ireland (NNIDI) (www.nnidi.com) held their 2017 Conference. The conference built on previous endeavours by the group to run events that will bring people from professional, academic and political arenas together to discuss the vision for intellectual disability nursing in Ireland now and into the future.