People with an intellectual disability are at an increased risk of developing a mental illness. An estimated 50 per cent develop a significant psychiatric problem at some point in their lives. Since the shifting trend to treat and manage individuals in the community setting, there are concerns over the lack of guidance of how intellectual disability mental health services in the community should be organised. This paper aims to address this issue.
Details of all new referrals made to the mental health of intellectual disability team in Dartford, Kent over a 12‐month period were collated and a questionnaire was used to gather retrospective data of each referral pathway.
There were 50 patients referred in total, with the primary source being GPs (58 per cent). In total, 40 per cent of all referrals were considered to be inappropriate for the mental health of intellectual disability team and the majority of these originated from the adult mental health and child and adolescent mental health service teams.
These findings identify areas of focus for closer liaison with colleagues to improve the quality of referrals and to reduce the demands placed on our service.
Ajaz, A. and Eyeoyibo, M. (2011), "Referral patterns to a mental health of intellectual disability team", Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 24-29. https://doi.org/10.1108/20441281111142594Download as .RIS
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