Carer experiences of services for adults with intellectual disabilities and Co-morbid mental Ill health or challenging behaviour

Joyce Man*, Maria Kangas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of this study was to examine carer experiences with mental health services for individuals with dual disabilities in Australia. This qualitative study involved semi-structured interviews with nine parents with an adult offspring with an intellectual disability in 2016. Parents who had received a mental health service for their offspring within the past two years in Australia with adequate spoken English were included. Parents were asked four open ended questions relating to their experiences of mental health services for their offspring. Findings revealed parents reported more negative experiences with mental health services perceived to hold limited expertise in dual disabilities. They also reported difficulties in accessing appropriate services and highlighted the importance of collaboration and adjustments to suit individual needs of their child. The findings are discussed in terms of the implications for service provision and training for practitioners working with families with intellectual disabilities. Acknowledging the important role of carers as key informants and partners in treatment decision making is highlighted as necessary aligning services with best practice standards.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalAdvances in Mental Health
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Apr 2019



  • carers
  • challenging behaviour
  • family
  • intellectual disability
  • mental health
  • services

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