Mental health care for people with intellectual disability: the practice development and a client perspective

Zuzana Tulcová, Jan Vančura

Abstract

People with intellectual disability (ID) suffer from mental illness more often than general population. This fact is not always reflected in the Czech research literature: the psychiatric problems of people with ID are underrepresented. Similarly, it is not easy to find an expert practitioner for this specific group. A lack of interest may be partly rooted in a common practice of social services which sometimes fail to differentiate between symptoms of mental disease and consequences of mental retardation. Our study focuses on dual diagnosis prevalence in the context of changes of last two decades. We present a picture of mental health care for people with ID based on their own perceptions which we obtained from semi-structured face-to-face interviews (N=8). Results show that our respondents realize their own active role in the process of intervention. They are able to express and explain their satisfaction or discontent. A quality of relation with a specialist and a communication respecting specifics of their ID appeared to be important criteria of their evaluations. Professional care plays a significant social support role for most of our respondents.

(Fulltext in Czech)

Keywords

dual diagnosis, intellectual disability, mental health care

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