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There are high rates of emotional, behavioural and psychiatric problems (Cooper et al, 2007) in the learning disability population. This paper describes the Mental Health…
There are high rates of emotional, behavioural and psychiatric problems (Cooper et al, 2007) in the learning disability population. This paper describes the Mental Health in Learning Disabilities (MHiLD) service for adults with learning disabilities in four South London boroughs. This service has been in operation in two South East London boroughs from 1982, and was extended to a third in 1999 and a fourth in 2006.
Changes have occurred in the pattern of services for people with learning disabilities and mental illness and/or challenging behaviour over recent years, with the development of a variety of service models across the UK. In SE London, residential services are based predominantly on a supported housing model and the strong philosophical premise that people should not be excluded from a community residential service because they have complex physical, behavioural or mental health needs. Local services, therefore, are supporting individuals with a wide range of need. This paper describes the development of specialist mental health and challenging needs services in support of this model. The issues raised are outlined, together with a list for action and priorities to overcome the difficulties encountered, including the maintenance of an effective infrastructure.