During Mental Health Month, 16 clinicians from the Mental Health Drug and Alcohol (MHDA) teams became district champions for the care of people with an intellectual disability.
People with an intellectual disability can experience a number of barriers when they seek access to mental health services. These barriers include communication, a lack of awareness of mental illness symptoms, complexity associated with assessment and practical aspects of accessing services.
The MHDA district champions will form a multidisciplinary, district wide team of peers. Their role will be to provide direction and support to staff to ensure the care of people with an intellectual disability who present to our services.
MHDA’s senior project manager Kerry Hides-Pearson said the MHDA service was aiming to increase its capacity to care for people with an intellectual disability and co-occurring mental health issues.
Before becoming champions, the clinicians attended a workshop which included guest speakers including Adam Johnston, a lawyer who is also an MHDA consumer advisor.