Learn Now: Training Modules
We are committed to promoting access to quality mental health care for individuals with developmental disabilities. This is available through accessible training content that centers around the needs and voices of individuals with disabilities. The training modules below are stacked to build each lesson on another. You can do them in any order you prefer if you are only looking for specific information.
Providers & Clinicians
Learn more about working with people with disabilities in order to reduce treatment barriers and increase accessibility for all.
Individuals, Families & Direct Supports
Learn more about the basics of mental health conditions in the following modules.
These training modules are offered through our various partners. Each training has been vetted to ensure it meets the mission and values of the MHDD National Training Center.
Plain Language Summary: Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Plain Language Summary: Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of therapy that helps people change their behavior to manage stress, emotions, or relationships better. DBT is evidence-based, meaning that research has been done to see if it works, and there are many supportive results.
During DBT, individuals learn to accept difficult experiences and make helpful changes to their behavior. To make these changes, clients learn specific strategies to regulate and accept emotions and understand and change thoughts. Examples of these strategies include core mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotion regulation.
When you begin therapy of any kind, you can expect to first spend time sharing about you. This may include your background, your strengths, and what you want to accomplish. This helps the therapist make a unique plan to help you. Your therapy plan may include activities during and outside of therapy sessions.
As you participate in therapy, it is important that you feel you can trust your therapist. You may ask questions to get to know them. You can also ask about their experience working with someone with developmental disabilities and if they can provide accommodations. You can bring a trusted friend or family member with you too, if you want.
To learn more, read the MHDD fact sheet on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).
Dementia Among Adults with Down Syndrome: Individual Differences in Risk and Progression is part of the Aging & End of Life webinar series and discusses topics of aging and developmental disabilities.
Resumen en lenguaje sencillo: Determinantes sociales que afectan la salud de la comunidad hispana/latinx con discapacidades
Nota: Elegimos utilizar tanto hispanos como latinos para incluir a personas de varios países. Esto se debe a que las opiniones difieren sobre qué países incluyen cada uno de los términos hispanos y latinos. Además, usamos Latinx porque es un término inclusivo de género. Latino y Latina se usan generalmente para referirse específicamente a un hombre o una mujer respectivamente.
Muchos adultos hispanos / latinos (abreviados como H / L) con afecciones mentales graves no reciben tratamiento. Los grupos que sufren discriminación, como las personas con discapacidades y la población H / L, a menudo experimentan disparidades de salud. Las disparidades en la salud ocurren cuando la salud general de un grupo es significativamente diferente de la salud general del grupo mayoritario. Una persona H / L con una discapacidad puede experimentar desafíos superpuestos que afectan su salud. Por ejemplo, puede ser difícil encontrar un proveedor de salud mental culturalmente sensible que también acepte clientes con discapacidades.
La salud de una persona se ve afectada principalmente por los determinantes sociales. Los determinantes sociales están relacionados con las condiciones en las que nace, vive, trabaja y envejece una persona. Tres áreas principales de determinantes sociales son el entorno social, el entorno físico y el acceso a la atención médica.
El entorno social de una persona se ve afectado por factores como la educación, los antecedentes culturales y los ingresos. En 2017, los hogares hispanos tenían un ingreso anual promedio que era $ 20,000 menos que los hogares no hispanos. Además, las personas con discapacidad tienen más probabilidades de vivir en la pobreza. Si una persona tiene dificultades económicas, es posible que no busque servicios de salud mental y se centrará en otras necesidades.
Nuestro entorno físico incluye factores como el transporte, las condiciones de la vivienda y el entorno natural. Aspectos de nuestro entorno físico pueden afectar nuestra salud física, como la calidad del aire y el agua. La salud física de una persona también puede afectar su salud mental. Además, las barreras de transporte pueden hacer que las personas retrasen o pierdan citas médicas.
El acceso a la atención médica puede verse afectado por el lugar donde vive una persona, si tiene seguro médico o la calidad de su seguro. A veces, debido al estado migratorio, es posible que una persona no tenga acceso a los recursos porque no sabe si califica. Para obtener más información, puede visitar el sitio web de Health Care del gobierno en inglés o español.
Puede resultar difícil cambiar algunos determinantes sociales. Sin embargo, existen recursos que puede utilizar para apoyar su salud.
Los centros de salud calificados a nivel federal (FQHC – siglas en inglés) son clínicas de salud comunitarias con una amplia gama de servicios, incluidos los de salud mental. Muchas FQHC se especializan en poblaciones desatendidas y se pueden encontrar en áreas rurales. Los FQHC tienen programas de tarifas variables y no requieren seguro médico. Puede encontrar un FQHC en su área usando la herramienta de búsqueda Find a Health Center.
Los Centros para Ancianos y Discapacitados (ADRC – siglas en inglés) pueden ayudar a las personas con discapacidades a encontrar opciones de transporte. Puede usar la herramienta de búsqueda Eldercare para encontrar información de contacto de ADRC cerca de usted. También puede llamar a su número 1-800-677-1116 que tiene disponible especialistas en información que hablan español.
Los Centros para la Vida Independiente (CIL- siglas en inglés) pueden ayudar a conectar personas con discapacidades con los recursos comunitarios. Los CIL pueden hacer referencias para servicios y ofrecer asistencia para la transición. Puede encontrar CIL en su estado en el sitio web de Utilización de investigaciones de vida independiente.
Lea la hoja informativa completa sobre Determinantes sociales que afectan la salud de la comunidad hispana/latinx con discapacidades.
Plain Language Summary: Social Determinants Affecting the Health of the Hispanic/Latinx Community with Disabilities
Note: We choose to use both Hispanic and Latinx to be inclusive of people from various countries. This is because opinions differ on what countries Hispanic and Latinx each include. Also, we use Latinx because it is a gender inclusive term. Latino and Latina are usually used to refer to a male or female specifically.
Many Hispanic/Latinx (abbreviated as H/L) adults with serious mental health conditions do not receive treatment. Groups that experience discrimination, such as people with disabilities and the H/L population, often experience health disparities. Health disparities are when a group’s overall health is significantly different from the majority group’s overall health. A H/L person with a disability can experience overlapping challenges that affect their health. For example, it can be difficult to find a culturally responsive mental health provider who also accepts clients with disabilities.
A person’s health is mostly affected by social determinants. Social determinants are related to conditions a person is born in, lives, works, and ages in. Three main areas of social determinants are social environment, physical environment, and access to healthcare.
A person’s social environment is affected by factors such as education, cultural background, and income. In 2017, Hispanic households had a median annual income that was $20,000 less than non-Hispanic households. Also, people with disabilities are more likely to live in poverty. If a person has financial struggles, they may not seek out mental health services and will focus on other needs.
Our physical environment includes factors like transportation, housing conditions, and the natural environment. Aspects of our physical environment can affect our physical health, such as air and water quality. A person’s physical health can impact their mental health too. Also, transportation barriers can lead to people delaying or missing medical appointments.
Access to healthcare can be affected by where a person lives, if they have health insurance, or the quality of their insurance. Sometimes because of immigration status, a person may not access resources because they do not know if they qualify. For more information, you can visit the government Health Care website in English or Spanish.
It can be difficult to change some social determinants. However, there are resources you can use to support your health.
Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) are community health clinics with a wide range of services, including mental health services. Many FQHCs specialize in underserved populations and can be found in rural areas. FQHCs have sliding fee programs and do not require health insurance. You can find an FQHC in your area using the Find a Health Center search tool.
Aging and Disability Centers (ADRCs) can help people with disabilities find transportation options. You can use the Eldercare search tool to find contact information for ADRCs near you. You can also call their number 1-800-677-1116 which has Spanish-speaking information specialists available.
Centers for Independent Living (CILs) can help to connect people with disabilities with community resources. CILs can make referrals for services and offer transition assistance. You can find CILs in your state by going to the Independent Living Research Utilization website.
Read the full Social Determinants Affecting the Health of the Hispanic/Latinx Community with Disabilities Fact Sheet.
A diagnostic manual for working with the general population and understanding their mental health concerns. This is not a free product but can be found for sale online, from several sources.
The DM-ID-2 provides state-of-the-art information concerning mental disorders in persons with intellectual disabilities. Grounded in evidence based methods and supported by the expert-consensus model, DM-ID-2 offers a broad examination of the issues involved in applying diagnostic criteria for psychiatric disorders to persons with intellectual disabilities. This is not a free product but can be found for sale online, from several sources.
People who experience dual diagnosis are people who experience a developmental disability and a mental health concern. It is a common condition and 30-35% of people with developmental disabilities also experience mental health concerns.
Developmental Disability is a term that includes disabilities that can be cognitive, or physical, or both. These disabilities appear before the age of 22 and are likely to be lifelong experiences. Some developmental disabilities are largely physical issues, for example cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Some developmental disabilities include a physical and intellectual disability, for example Down syndrome and fetal alcohol syndrome. Intellectual disability is a type of developmental disabilities that is broadly related to thought processes. Because intellectual and other developmental disabilities often occur at the same time, or co-occur, professionals often work with people who experience both types of disabilities.
Mental Health diagnosis refers to a wide range of mental health conditions that affect mood, thinking and behavior; for example depression, anxiety, eating disorders and substance use disorder. These conditions can be experienced by any person throughout their life.
People experiencing dual diagnosis and those that provide services face several challenges. For example, it can be difficult for the professionals to make sure they identify the experiences of their clients correctly. One of the reasons this can be difficult is something called diagnostic overshadowing. Diagnostic overshadowing happens when a professional decides that what a person is experiencing with their mental or physical health is because of their disability and it is not because they are having an additional mental health concern. This means that the professionals aren’t looking at the person as an individual outside of their disability. For example, a person with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) might also experience depression but their service provider sees it as a symptom of ASD not an additional condition.
Diagnostic overshadowing is concerning for individuals experiencing dual diagnosis. If professionals don’t take their concerns seriously, they may not receive the help that they are seeking. Communication needs can also be concerning. If it is difficult to explain what you are feeling, a professional may not take the time to truly understand why you are seeking services.
To learn more about dual diagnosis read the MHDD fact sheet, Dual Diagnosis 101. You can also visit the Center for START Services website and NADD website to learn more about persons with developmental disabilities and mental health needs.
Read the full Dual Diagnosis 101 fact sheet