In Health

New South Wales Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies

New Mental Health Service For People With Intellectual Disability

Victor P Taffa

People in New South Wales living with an intellectual disability who need treatment for mental illness will soon have access to a specialist service.

They can be assessed and supported by clinicians who are experienced in the care of people with both conditions.

Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies today announced $4.4 Million for the project over 4 years, which will also help local health services enhance the effectiveness of mental health care offered to people with an intellectual disability.

“This is a first for New South Wales that will mean clinicians, families and carers of people living with an intellectual disability will have free access to an expert team with experience treating both conditions.” Minister Davies said.

“Presence of mental illness makes decision-making and using coping skills more challenging for people with intellectual disability and this can lead to distress.”

“Making these specialised hubs available is an important step towards welcoming and encouraging people with intellectual disability to access support and look after their mental health and overall wellbeing.” Minister Davies said.

People with intellectual disability represent about 2 % of the population, and up to 40 % of people with intellectual disability experience mental illness.

Minister Davies said the hubs will operate within the Sydney Local Health District and the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, and be available to people across metropolitan, rural and regional New South Wales.

Statewide Intellectual Disability and Mental Health Tertiary Hubs will work alongside community mental health services, intellectual disability teams and community managed organisations to build integrated care as part of the New South Wales Government’s decade-long reform of mental health care.

If you or someone you know needs crisis support, please call Lifeline 13 11 14. For more information about local services, phone the NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511.


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