The Black Dog Institute, in collaboration with others, will soon launch an online program offering mental health support to those living with intellectual disabilities.

Mental illness is more common among individuals with intellectual disability than in the general population. A lack of online tools specifically designed to be accessed by this community for support prompted the initiative.

“Supporting the mental health of those with intellectual disabilities is critical to enable people to lead their best possible lives.” Chloe Heck, Black Dog Institute, Senior Project Officer.

The trial aims to study precisely how tools like Healthy Mind support the mental health of people with intellectual disability. Adapting cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) into accessible and engaging tools to meet their unique learning needs and delivering the therapy online.

Healthy Mind

The program, named Healthy Mind, will be the first of its kind. The website uses an Easy Read tool designed to help people with intellectual disabilities to recognise and regulate their thoughts and feelings. Alongside Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, the program offers mindfulness and positive psychology techniques adapted for users.

A clinical trial is being managed by the Black Dog Institute in collaboration with the Department of Development, Disability and Neuropsychiatry (3DN) at the University of NSW, is called Intellectual Disability Trial for Wellbeing Online (IDTWO).

Dr Peter Baldwin, the Lead Investigator on the trial, is inviting Australians living with intellectual disability to sign up to the trial to help researchers understand how and the reasons why these tools can be of benefit.

Professor Julian Trollor, from 3DN, who is UNSW’s Chair of Intellectual Disability Mental Health, highlights the importance of digital health initiatives to include people with intellectual disability. And he is “excited to be partnering in this initiative.”

To sign up for the trial and more information visit the study website.

Information sourced from Black Dog Institute.

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