Investigating staff knowledge and attitudes towards working with adults with learning disabilities and mental health difficulties

Nikki Rose (Trainee Clinical Psychologist, Coventry and Warwick Clinical Psychology Training Course)
Alex O'Brien (Psychology Services, The Ridge Hill Centre, Stourbridge, UK)
John Rose (University of Birmingham, UK)

Advances in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities

ISSN: 1753-0180

Publication date: 1 September 2007

Abstract

This research aimed to investigate staff knowledge and attitudes towards working with adults with both a learning disability and a mental health difficulty. Government policy in the UK suggests a shift in service provision such that the treatment of people with a learning disability who have mental health problems should be undertaken by mainstream mental health services rather than specialist learning disability services.Staff members from both specialist and mainstream services took part in a series of focus groups to discuss their experiences and attitudes about working with this group of people. The transcriptions of the groups were analysed to identify common themes. Findings from the study suggest that staff within mainstream services currently feel that they are inadequately trained to deal with the often complex mental health needs of this group. Conversely, staff in learning disability services expressed concern about losing their specialist skills in generic services.The implications of the themes raised are discussed, particularly in relation to future service provision. Care will need to be taken if service redesign is to be achieved without detriment to service users.

Keywords

Citation

Rose, N., O'Brien, A. and Rose, J. (2007), "Investigating staff knowledge and attitudes towards working with adults with learning disabilities and mental health difficulties", Advances in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 52-59. https://doi.org/10.1108/17530180200700031

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Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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