#WeLDNs - Tuesday 18th June 2019 8:30pm (GMT Standard Time) Identifying Anxiety in people with Learning Disabilities

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Hosted by WeLDnurses using #WeLDNs

This chat is guest hosted by @Waite_Aston

Individuals with ID are at heightened risk of experiencing anxiety and depression. However, assessment of mental health problems in individuals with severe Learning Disabilities is more challenging due to difficulties reporting internal states. 

Ongoing work within our team has revealed that increased vocalisation, repetitive behaviour and self-injury are key behavioural markers of anxiety in people with Learning Disabilities and autism. However, these behaviours could also overlap with other behavioural presentations, including when a person is in pain. There are currently no assessment measures with acceptable reliability to identify and differentiate anxiety and depression from pain and autism spectrum characteristics in this population. This may mean that individuals who display challenging behaviour caused by underlying anxiety or pain are being referred into inappropriate services (e.g. challenging behaviour rather than mental or physical health pathways).

In this chat we will discuss:

  • What experience do you have of working with people with LD experiencing anxiety, depression and/or pain?
  • What is the hardest part of detecting mental health problems in people you work with?
  • What training have you had to help you when working with people with possible mental health problems?
  • Have you found any research that you have found useful in informing your practice in this area?


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