Authors: Andrew Pridding, Chad Bennett & Felicity Lawrence, VIC
Event: 2004 TheMHS Conference
Subject: access to care
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: People with intellectual disability are at higher risk of mental health problems and have difficulty in accessing appropriate services. There is increasing evidence that this group does not fit into a generic model of service delivery resulting in poor outcomes for the client and frustration in the system. A project undertaken by the Victorian Dual Disability Service identifies the number of people with intellectual disability in the long stay component of mental health services in Victoria. A suite of instruments was administered to determine diagnosis and psychopathology and the subsequent effects on the patient and the service system. A prevalence of 7% is reported with the majority identified as having a psychotic illness although a significant number were found to have previously unrecognized autistic features. They have complex needs and require considerable resources over a long period of time. On the basis of these findings recommendations are made in relation to future service delivery.