Meeting the mental health care needs of people with intellectual disability

John Allan
Med J Aust 2021; 215 (7): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51260
Published online: 4 October 2021

Consistent national mental health policy and planning are needed to adequately care for their special needs

Mental health care for people with an intellectual disability has a chequered history in Australia, marked by barriers to access and services that have often been ill prepared to meet their needs. Rates of mental and physical illness among people with intellectual disability are higher than for the general population and deserve specific treatment systems.1 The study by Srasuebkul and colleagues in this issue of the MJA highlights the disproportionate number of people with intellectual disability in the Australian public mental health system and the considerable associated costs.2 This money could instead be used to establish a more appropriate care system, but reforms on several levels are needed.

  • 1 Former president, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2 The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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