Mental Health and Intellectual Disability: The Experiences of Disability Support Workers in Relation to the Mental Health Needs of Clients
Adults with intellectual disabilities are known to have a high prevalence of mental health problems. As with other Canadians, access to adequate mental health services for this group is a challenge. As a result, these individuals along with their family members are turning to intellectual disability services for assistance with issues of mental health regardless of the fact that employees do not receive specialized training in this area. Research indicates that intellectual disability service providers play an important role in the mental health of these individuals, are supporting service users with a variety of mental health issues, and are in need of specialized training. What is missing from this research, is the experience, of Canadian support workers as they support the mental health of adults with intellectual disabilities. Through the use of a general qualitative research design, this study attempted to explore and understand the experiences of direct support workers as they support adults with intellectual disabilities where issues of mental health and well-being appear. A semi-structured interview was utilized to elicit descriptions of these experiences in addition to the perceptions of direct support workers in relation to training competencies and needs. It is anticipated that through understanding the experiences and perceptions of direct support workers, a better service model can be delineated.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
DepartmentEducational Psychology and Special Education
ProgramSchool and Counselling Psychology
CommitteeClaypool, Tim; Brenna, Beverley; Squires, Vicki; Mousavi, Amin
Copyright DateMarch 2017
disability support workers