The statistics are concerning and reflect the fact that people with IDD are at a significantly higher risk of mental illness. The prevalence is conservatively estimated at 33%, with some sources reporting much higher rates. This population’s susceptibility is increased by biological and social factors. As more mental illnesses are understood to be caused or aggravated by biochemical irregularities, an already-damaged brain is at higher risk of biochemical imbalances.
Additionally, people with IDD are often ostracized and have few, if any, social networks of support. Even with mainstream options in public school, children with IDD are often treated differently and excluded from social activities. As young adults, this isolation becomes more pronounced when students graduate without work prospects or established social circles. Social isolation and exclusion with no hope of change, combined with already-existing brain differences, set the stage for mental illness.
House of New Hope is one of Ohio’s largest provider of behavioral health out-patient services to persons with developmental disabilities and co-occurring mental disorders. We are currently providing these essential counseling services in Licking, Knox, Miami, Athens, Hancock, Erie, and Huron Counties.
Excerpted from: Co-Occurring Mental Illness and Developmental Disabilities,
Maria Quintero, PhD, and Sarah Flick, MD