The HSE launched a new model of service to support improvements in mental health provision for children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities.
The Executive and Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler, officially launched the new national model of service on 9 September, which aims to deliver better clinical outcomes for children and adolescents with intellectual disability by standardising mental health provision nationally for service users and their families.
HSE National Clinical Development Lead for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Intellectual Disability, Dr Louise Sharkey explains: “The new model of service was developed following extensive consultation with clinicians, service providers, and service users, as well as drawing on international best practice. The recommendations seek to provide a national vision and strategic direction for the development of new Child and Adolescent Mental Health of Intellectual Disability (CAMHS-ID) services nationally, within an integrated system of care.
“The establishment of geographically distinct, community-based multidisciplinary mental health services for children and adolescents with intellectual disability, provided by specialist teams is a key recommendation, and is in line with our national mental health policy, Sharing the Vision (2020).”
The CAMHS-ID service is a specialist mental health service that aims to complement the services provided by primary care, children’s disability network teams (CDNT), and CAMHS within an integrated system of care.
Children and adolescents with an ID living with a mental disorder are usually supported by the CAMHS-ID team for a limited period of time to provide specialist mental health assessment and intervention. As the young person’s mental health improves, the CAMHS-ID team will plan to discharge back to primary care and the CDNT with a recovery plan for staying well and information on how to access the team again if needed.
These recommendations reflect the HSE’s commitment to ensure that children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities have access to mental health services in the same way as their peers of normal cognitive ability.
The Minister added: “I welcome this positive development in strengthening mental health services for children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities. The model of service represents an important step forward in the implementation of Sharing the Vision and the Sláintecare Implementation and Action Plan.”
The CAMHS Intellectual Disability National Model of Service is available to view on the HSE website.