MHDD Fact Sheets​

Resumen en lenguaje sencillo: Determinantes sociales que afectan la salud de la comunidad hispana/latinx con discapacidades Nota: Elegimos utilizar tanto ...
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Domestic violence can mean the abuse of children, other family members, and romantic partners. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is one ...
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Resumen en Lenguaje Sencillo: El Trastorno del Espectro Autista (TEA) y la Comunidad Hispana / Latinx La tasa o promedio ...
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Plain Language Summary: Motivational Interviewing for People with Developmental Disabilities Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a type of therapy that helps ...
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Plain Language Summary: Self-Determination & Dignity of Risk Self-determination is a right that all people have. It means that they ...
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Featured Resources​

Risk Assessment Tool for Behavioral Crisis

Basic assessment to gauge risk of patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Rural Health Policy Brief

Rural Health Policy Brief is from policymakers and other stakeholders with a focus on children. This does have potential for wider application.

SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions: Screening Tools

SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions: Screening Tools is a webpage with several screening tools for a variety of mental health concerns. All of their information is for public use.

Self-Determination & Dignity of Risk

Plain Language Summary: Self-Determination & Dignity of Risk

Self-determination is a right that all people have. It means that they have a right to make their own choices and set their own goals. People with developmental disabilities (DD) also have this right, and should have support in achieving self-determination.

Dignity of risk means being able to make a choice even if it could have negative consequences for you. Negative consequences could be things like getting injured, getting lost, and being heartbroken. Experiencing negative consequences helps all of us to learn. It is natural to want to protect someone that we care about, but it’s important to not take away someone’s dignity of risk. When someone has both self-determination and dignity of risk, they are more likely to become independent.

When someone with DD has control over their lives, their quality of life improves and they are more independent. Oftentimes, loved ones limit this by making decisions for them. This is because they want to protect the person with DD and comes from good intentions. It’s important to not make assumptions about someone’s ability to make their own choices.

To help someone with DD have self-determination and dignity of risk, they should be in charge of the choices made about their lives. Even if they have legal guardians, people with DD should be included in all decisions made about them. This is called person-centered planning. We are the experts of ourselves and people with DD are no different. Person-centered planning looks at the person’s strengths, goals, needs, and wants. This type of planning helps people with DD feel more confident in themselves and in their choices.

Another way to help someone with DD have self-determination is to use the best communication style for them. Different styles of communicating can include picture exchange systems, adaptive devices, assistive technology, or sign language. This is important to consider so that the person with DD can express what their goals and desires are.

To learn more, read the MHDD Self-Determination & Dignity of Risk Fact Sheet.

SMART Goals & Mental Health

Plain Language Summary: SMART Goals & Mental Health

Goal setting can be used as a therapeutic tool to improve mental health. It can be a helpful intervention if other therapeutic tools are difficult to adapt to meet client needs, especially for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD). Goal setting is a form of self-determination. Self-determination means that an individual makes decisions and acts for themselves according to what they want. Opportunities for this type of independence is especially important for people with IDD because their independence is often limited in many ways. Mental health can improve through setting and achieving personalized goals.

Goal setting can be more beneficial with certain details included. The person setting the goal should consider how they will benefit from the goal and write their goal down. As they develop the goal, it helps to make it a SMART goal. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

S – Specific

A goal should include exactly what the person wants to achieve and how. It might include a time frame, other people who should be involved, needed preparation, or location.

M – Measurable

The person should be able to monitor their progress as they work on the goal. They should make a plan for how they intend to do so. This can include smaller tasks, due dates, or collecting other forms of information about their efforts.

A – Attainable

A good goal should be challenging, but something the person can realistically achieve. They should consider whether they have enough time, resources, and skill to make it happen as planned.

R – Relevant

Goal setting is more beneficial when the person feels connected to it. The goal setter should make sure the goal is helping them in some way. They should also consider how they can incorporate their personal preferences or desires into their plan.

T – Time-bound

Setting a goal should include a clear and realistic time limit. There should be enough time to complete the planned task while still creating a challenge.

SMART goal setting can be used for making personal achievements, and it also improves mental health. It can be beneficial as part of a therapeutic plan or done on an individual basis.

For more information, read the MHDD SMART Goals & Mental Health fact sheet.

Social Work Today: Co-occurring Mental Illness and Developmental Disabilities

This article describes the gap in education and services for professionals who could be serving persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health conditions.

green and blue logo for mental health and developmental disability natinoal training center

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