The mental health needs of people with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD) continue to be unmet in New Brunswick. Research evidence indicates that the rates of mental health conditions in people with IDD are 3 to 4 times higher than the general population. Yet, many people are denied access to needed mental health services because of a lack of knowledge and expertise in the system or because medical professionals (including mental health professionals) mistakenly believe that the intellectual or developmental disability in itself is the cause of the problems that people are experiencing.
The Brief on Equal Access to Mental Health Services and Well-Being for People with an Intellectual or Developmental Disability sets out the main issues affecting the lack of mental health responses for people with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD) and the impact that this has on the lives of people and their families. It also provides a set of concrete recommendations that are based on current research and evidence on effective mental health responses for people with IDD. NBACL is calling for a dedicated policy framework and strategy to ensure that people with IDD have the mental health supports and services that they require and deserve.