The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has recently hosted an event for parents and young people to launch a new ‘Step Two’ aspect of the Intellectual Disability Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.
The announcement comes as one in 40 children here have an intellectual disability, which means they have difficulty understanding information and learning the skills needed for everyday life.
Dr Heather Hanna, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist in Intellectual Disability for the Southern Trust, said: “Children with an intellectual disability are at least four times more likely to develop a significant mental health, emotional or behavioural problem. We want these children to have the same access to specialist therapeutic intervention when they experience these difficulties as every other young person.”
At the event, a video created by families who access the service was launched, which allowed children’s voices to be heard, and to be a source of information and support to other parents. The team also reflected on their inaugural therapeutic residential to Corrymeela, with parents and siblings sharing their memories and highlights. Attendees also heard plans for the service during 2018, such as the development of a Parent Support Group, User Forum and a Sibling Group which aim to help families engage with and support each other. For more information on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in the Southern Trust go to younghealthymindsni.co.uk.