Mental health disorders are underdiagnosed in people with intellectual disability
Granés Fundació, Dincat and the Catalan Society of Psychiatry and Mental Health, with the support of the Institute of Health Care (IAS), have presented a publication on mental health disorders in people with intellectual disability
The publication contains the proceedings of the 1st Seminar on Mental Health and Intellectual Disability
Dos testimonis han escenificat l’entrega del material divulgatiu a un representant dels professionals de l’àmbit sanitari i la salut mental
Link to the video of the presentation
Granés Fundació, Dincat and the Catalan Society of Psychiatry and Mental Health, with the support of the Institute of Health Care (IAS), have presented the publication “Mental Health and Intellectual Disability” at an event that was streamed live from the Parc Hospitalari Martí i Julià in Salt. This publication seeks to address the lack of knowledge that still persists today about mental health disorders in people with intellectual disability, leading to underdiagnosis and inappropriate treatments.
The second publication within the Diàlegs Granés collection, this booklet includes the proceedings of the 1st Seminar on Mental Health and Intellectual Disability, held on 14 May 2021, with the participation of professionals affiliated with the Specialised Network in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities and who have come from all parts of Catalonia. During the seminar, attended by more than 300 professionals working in third sector organisations, social services, health and education, it was noted that mental health problems in people with disability have been historically underdiagnosed, even though different studies suggest that one out of every three people with disability suffer from some type of mental health problem. According to Dr. Ramon Novell, head of the Intellectual Disability Department at the IAS, “the dual diagnosis of mental disorder and intellectual disability has often not been recognised. In any case, it is almost always underdiagnosed and, consequently, is not treated. Although there are few well-designed studies at present that directly compare the incidence and prevalence of mental illness in the population with and without intellectual disability, the epidemiological data suggest that people with intellectual disability are more likely to suffer from psychiatric disorders at some stage during their lives”.
In fact, the data available show that up to 41% of people with intellectual disability have psychiatric disorders. If behavioural problems are excluded, this percentage drops to 28%, and if the autistic spectrum disorder is also excluded, the final figure comes down to 22.4%. The prevalence of psychiatric disorders increases with more severe levels of intellectual disability.
The presentation, given by Laura Masferrer, Granés Fundació’s general manager, Gemma Parramon, president of the SCPiSM, and Carles Campuzano, director of Dincat, was followed by a brief ceremony in which four people with intellectual disabilities, Carmen Flores, Judith Joyera, Irene Tohà and Gerard Ayats, gave the informative material to Dr. Claudi Camps, director of the IAS’s Mental Health and Addictions Network, in representation of all health professionals and, more specifically, of those working in mental health.
The publication was presented by Dr. Ramon Novel, Head of the Intellectual Disability Department at the Institute of Health Care (IAS). The event was closed by Antoni Vilà, Granés Fundació’s vice-president.
Content of the publication
The publication includes the lectures, reflections and contributions made during the seminar, and links to videos of all the speakers who took part.
Specifically, it features the lectures “Mental health in people with Intellectual Development Disorder (IDD): an inclusive care process”, “The Catalan care model for people with IDD and/or mental disorder and/or behaviour disorder”, “Health in people with intellectual disability, POMONA-ESP”; “Cognitive behavioural phenotypes in people with ID”; “Catatonia and intellectual disability”; “Mental illness in IDD: psychotic and affective disorders”; and “Mental disease in Intellectual Development Disorder: repetitive behaviours”.
“Mental health is everyone’s business” leaflet
The other publication presented has been written by Dincat in partnership with the IAS, entitled “Mental health is everyone’s business”. It offers a series of tips and recommendations for health professionals about how to approach and treat people with intellectual disability and mental health disorders.
With these initiatives, the organisers seek to advance toward full access by everyone to the right to health and, in the process, advance toward full inclusion.
1.Laura Masferrer, general manager of Granés Fundació, Gemma Parramon, president of the SCPiSM, and Carles Campuzano, director of Dincat
2. The informative material was given by two people with intellectual disabilities, Carmen Flores and Judith Joyera, to Dr. Claudi Camps, director of the IAS’s Mental Health and Addictions Network