This paper considers the applicability of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) initiative in meeting the mental health needs of people with learning disabilities.
The author considers the nature of the IAPT service, the potential benefits, the potential barriers and how local services could be better adapted to meet the needs of people with learning disabilities.
Although the IAPT service is well established for the mainstream population, for people with learning disabilities there are deficits and barriers at many levels. Increased attention should be given to removing barriers to access; the provision of “reasonable adjustments” in treatment; and to the monitoring of uptake and outcomes. Even with these issues addressed, the service will not meet the mental health needs of all people with learning disabilities.
Whilst acknowledging the potential value of IAPT, without specific consideration being given, mainstream approaches to mental health will not be applicable to all people with learning disabilities: “reasonable adjustments” need to be made not only at the direct clinical level but also throughout the system, from service commissioning to outcomes.
Leyin, A. (2011), "Improving Access to Psychological Therapies for people with learning disabilities", Tizard Learning Disability Review, Vol. 16 No. 5, pp. 29-37. https://doi.org/10.1108/13595471111185747Download as .RIS
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