Experiences of mental health support for adults with intellectual disability

Dr Annie Venville (Australian Catholic University), Dr Maureen Long (La Trobe University), Dr Anne-Maree Sawyer (Department of Social Inquiry, La Trobe University), and Professor Chris Bigby (La Trobe University)

People with an intellectual disability are at least two to three times more likely to develop a mental health problem than the general population. Despite key national policy initiatives supporting action on the mental health of people with an intellectual disability, individuals still experience difficulty accessing inpatient treatment and community based mental health services.

Most research to date has focused on experiences of service provision from the perspectives of families, carers and health professionals. Few studies have explored the perspectives of service users themselves. This project will involve focus groups with people who have intellectual disability and mental health problems, with the aim of gaining insights into the experiences of service users from their own perspectives.

This research is funded by the 'Living with disability' theme of the 'Building Healthy Communities' Research Focus Area at La Trobe University ($11,531.64), 2015-2016.


Venville, A., Sawyer, A, Long, M, Edwards, N, & Hair, S (2015), ‘Supporting people with an intellectual disability and mental health problems: a scoping review of what they say about service provision’, Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 8 (3-4), pp. 186-212.