Turning Point To Publish New Learning Disability Guide

In the UK, it is estimated that up to 40% of people with a learning disability also have a mental health problem but many of them are not getting the support they urgently need.

Turning Point, in partnership with the Estia Centre, is publishing a new guide to promote more effective inter-agency working and improved support for people with a learning disability who have additional mental health needs. The guide will be launched at the Learning Disability Today conference on 22 November.

The new guide will provide practical advice to enable frontline support staff to develop the skills to meet the mental health needs of people with a learning disability. It will help staff to recognise mental health needs in the first place and provide appropriate treatment and support.

Richard Kramer, Policy Director at Turning Point said, “We hope this innovative resource will better equip staff to support people with learning disability who have additional mental health needs.  We know for example that staff often feel uncertain how to support a person with a learning disability through change or emotional stress. Co-ordinated and person-centred treatment and recognition of a person’s wider social needs for home, friends, and meaningful activity is critical. Understandably, it’s a challenge for professionals and this guide aims to address this.”

Dr Geraldine Holt, Consultant Psychiatrist from the Estia Centre said, “The guide was developed in partnership with people with a learning disability and mental health needs, support staff, mangers, clinicians and policy makers. It aims to promote good mental health; building on people’s strengths and addressing their vulnerabilities. It advocates a proactive approach, giving a number of practical examples.”

Copies of the guidance “Supporting Complex Needs: A practical guide for support staff working with people with a learning disability who have mental health needs”, will be available to download from www.turning-point.co.uk from 22 November.