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Mental ill health

• About 30% of people with learning disabilities have mental ill-health at any one time.

• It is frequently overlooked by carers, causing unnecessary suffering.

• Presentations can differ from the general population, especially the more severe the persons learning disabilities.

• Onset of problem behaviours can indicate mental ill-health.

• Reluctance to engage with previous activities, or odd behaviours, or withdrawal may be signs of mental ill-health.

• Sometimes symptoms are dismissed as being due to a change in a person’s support package – this is unwise, as life events such as this can trigger mental ill-health in this population, and treatment mey be indicated.

• There is a dedicated learning disabilities psychiatric service across all parts of Greater Glasgow and Clyde. There are also psychologists, nurses and occupational therapists who specialise in working with people with learning disabilities.

• Refer to the local learning disabilities service, or the learning disabilities liaison team if further advice/support is needed.