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Mental Health and Learning Disabilities

Thinking about me? Essential psychological care for people with learning disabilities

Thinking about me? Essential psychological care for people with learning disabilities

NES has commissioned this resource to support staff to deliver the best possible care for people with learning disabilities. Its intention is to help you understand psychological factors that may affect anyone (with or without a learning disability), but some of which, such as stigma, may be particularly relevant to people with learning disabilities.  

The resource covers:

  • definitions of learning disability
  • communication abilities
  • life histories, such as living in long-stay hospitals
  • family and personal relationships
  • experiencing stigma and discrimination
  • physical health difficulties
  • bereavement
  • psychological therapies for people with learning disabilities.

The resource is for all health professionals who work with people with learning disabilities.  It will be particularly useful for registered nursing staff, but is also relevant for other members of health teams and front-line social care and third sector staff. 

Team leaders and clinical managers can use it to support continuing professional development (CPD) or teaching and development work with staff members and frontline staff  can use it as part of induction or CPD activity.

You can use the resource for individual learning, learning as a group or team, in a facilitated learning event, or as a mixture of all these approaches. Whichever you favour, we recommend that you seek some opportunities for group discussions to help you to understand your individual experiences within a broader context and enhance your learning. There are many questions that are best answered – and points that are best discussed and expanded upon – with colleagues.

There is no set time-limit for completing the resource.  Some people may choose to work through individual units gradually, while others might wish to use it more intensively.  The resource is intended to be used and referred to regardless of the current stage of your career. In general, we estimate that the whole resource will require around 22 hours of study.