Preventing mental health problems

Preventing mental health problems

There are some things that can help people with learning disabilities live more happily and healthily, and stop them from getting mental health problems. Staff should have a plan to help the person you care for:

  • live where they want and choose who they live with (if they are an adult)

  • spend time with their family and other people who are important to them

  • plan for big changes to their home life, such as moving house

  • get out and about to places such as sports centres and libraries

  • get involved in hobbies and activities they enjoy.

Organisations have a legal responsibility to help people with learning disabilities use their services (this is called making reasonable adjustments). For example, they may need to let someone go along as a buddy, or help with organising transport. You can find more information about the legal responsibilities of organisations on NHS Choices.

Children and young people should be able to go to a school or college that can provide an education that meets their needs and encourages them to learn.

Staff should take special care of children and young people who are taken into care or are moving between placements (for example foster care, adoption or going to a boarding school or college). This is because during these stressful and emotional times there is a very high risk that people can get mental health problems, or that problems they already have can get worse.

Help finding work

People with learning disabilities can get mental health problems for the same reasons anyone does – because of things like feeling lonely, having nothing to do or worrying about money. Getting a job or doing voluntary work can make mental health problems less likely, and help people to cope if they do have a problem. If the person you care for is able to, you can help by encouraging them to look for work. They may be able to get practical help from staff on things like:

  • finding out what they are good at and what sort of work they want to do

  • writing application forms and CVs

  • preparing for interviews.

  • Information Standard