Services for people with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems in Singapore: perspectives from mainstream mental health professionals

Jonathan Ee, Jan Mei Lim, Biza Stenfert Kroese, John Rose

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Abstract

Background: Generic mental health staff often have contact with people with intellectual disabilities when they access mainstream mental health services. To date, there has not been any research conducted in non-western countries to explore their views. This paper investigates the views and experiences of mainstream mental health professionals regarding the mental health services for people with intellectual disabilities in Singapore. Methods: Eight staff members from generic mental health services were interviewed. Thematic analysis was used to identify main themes. Findings: The main themes are related to their work experiences, perceptions of people with intellectual disabilities, ideal staff characteristics and service recommendations. Conclusions: Participants identified a lack of experience and knowledge when working with this population. They highlighted the challenges they face promoting choice and autonomy for people with intellectual disabilities. The discussion includes recommendations for improving staff knowledge through training opportunities, consideration of non-pharmacological approaches and early collaboration with caregivers during the treatment process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-380
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Disabilities
Volume67
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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