Mental Health Aspects of I/DD


The Mental Health Aspects of I/DD Special Interest Group (MH SIG) at AUCD provides information to Network members on critical issues related to mental health for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

2019 Vision Statement

In an effort to promote belonging for all people with IDD and mental health needs, the MHIDD SIG of AUCD will survey and incorporate practices to promote cultural and linguistic competency within our SIG and in our trainings to the AUCD community. This requires close attention to policies and practices that acknowledge cultural identity and promote access to education, support, treatment and community life, and address the structural barriers many face in our society. In the coming year, we will explore how inclusion for all can be enhanced through this process.




IDefineMyWellness  Copy to Calendar

Tuesday, October 29, 2019
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. ET
Location: Webinar

Join AUCD's Mental Health Aspects of ID/DD SIG and the Wellness and Mental Health Learning Group, formed by AUCD's National Center on Disability in Public Health, to hear updates on how people living with disabilities define wellness. Timed in conjunction with Mental Health Month, AUCD hosted a Twitter chat, IDefineMyWellness, to solicit input from people with disabilities on what wellness and mental health means to them. Lessons learned and experiences from facilitating this learning group, as well as the resource developed will be showcased.

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Violence and Mental Illness: The Real Story

Violence and Mental Illness: The Real Story  Copy to Calendar

Thursday, September 26, 2019
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET
Location: Webinar

The stigma associated with mental illness is based in lack of understanding and fear. It has persisted despite increased knowledge about the underlying nature of disorders. Recent events have led to further stigmatization by suggesting a direct link between mental illness and mass gun violence. This presentation will review history of stigma, describe facts on the relationship between mental illness and violence, identify underlying risk factors for gun violence, and suggest rational approaches to prevention.

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Hearing our Voices: Treatment Needs of Young Adults with IDD and Mental Health Conditions

Hearing our Voices: Treatment Needs of Young Adults with IDD and Mental Health Conditions  Copy to Calendar

Thursday, April 11, 2019
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. ET
Location: Webinar

The Intellectual and Developmental Disability Mental Health (IDD-MH) Research Partnership identified eight priority topic areas for young adults with IDD-MH that will be reviewed in this webinar. These priorities highlight the importance of community-based options, choice, autonomy, and control for young adults with IDD-MH. We will also share our recommendations to advance research, policy, and practice in areas important to young adults with IDD-MH.

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News and Resources

  • OHSU UCEDD Prioritizes Youth Health Care Transition

    Four out of five Oregon youth who experience disabilities report that they did not receive adequate transition services during their healthcare visits according to the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs in 2016.

  • 1Health Adds MN LEND

    The MNLEND fellowship program was accepted as a designated 1Health Interprofessional Activity, the University of Minnesota's interprofessional education curriculum initiative that brings together students from a wide range of health-related disciplines. 1Health challenges medical, dental, social work, public health and other students to cultivate skills in teamwork, communication, and collaborative care. These skills are integral to the medical community's "triple aim" of improving patient outcomes, advancing population health, and reducing costs. In selecting MNLEND, 1Health's Interprofessional Education Team considered the program's mix of learners from different professions, its explicit focus on interprofessional learning and the authenticity of its learning activities.

  • Ohio State LEND Leadership Project Aims to Build Relationships Between New Mothers and Healthcare Providers

    Ohio State LEND faculty Lori Grisez (Physical Therapy) and Dr. Andrea Witwer (Psychology) initiated a program called Next Steps that aims to promote healthy development in infants and young children living in poverty in Central Ohio. The Next Steps program is an extension of the Moms2B program that was created in 2010 by pediatrician Dr. Patricia Gabbe and infant mental health specialist Twinkle French Schottke to address the alarmingly high infant mortality rate in Central Ohio.

  • Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health

    Young adult members of our Consumer Advisory Council developed this resource for other young adults and for the professionals who serve them. It is based on their lived experiences with the mental health system.

  • CT LEND Students Sign Bill with CT Governor to Enhance Communication Between First Responders and Children and Adults with Disabilities

    The UConn UCEDD staff and LEND students were invited to a bill signing of HB 7000 (PA 19-147) with Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont. Governor Lamont praised the students and UCEDD for all the work they had done on the bill. Governor Lamont told the students how proud they should be for making a real difference in the world for the disability community. Representative Linehan, who met with the LEND students at the Capitol, worked with them on enhancing the UConn UCEDD's Emergency Preparation Flipbook to include a communication aid that would enhance communication between first responders and children and adults with disabilities.

  • Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) Researcher Sutcliffe, Others Find High-risk Genes for Schizophrenia
    Author: Bill Snyder

    Using a unique computational framework they developed, a team of scientist cyber-sleuths in the Vanderbilt University Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics and the Vanderbilt Genetics Institute (VGI) has identified 104 high-risk genes for schizophrenia. One contributor is Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (IDDRC, UCEDD, LEND) member and Associate Professor of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences James Sutcliffe, Ph.D.

  • Mental Health Month: A message from AUCD's MH SIG

    As we celebrate mental health month, we invite you to participate in AUCD's Special Interest Group on Mental Health Aspects of I/DD. Our goal is to ensure that the mental health needs of children and adults with IDD-MH are fully recognized within the disability community and that they are effectively addressed.

  • Study Finds that Psychiatric Emergency Room Visits Increased Among US Youth (MD IDDRC)

    In a recent study published in Pediatrics, Luther Kalb, PhD, core faculty member of the IDDRC at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, examined trends in psychiatric emergency department (ED) visits from 2011 to 2015 among youth ages 6 to 24 in the U.S. Data for this study primarily came from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, a national survey of ED visits across the US.

  • VKC (TN IDDRC/UCEDD/LEND)'s Verity Rodrigue Rodrigues to serve on National Mental Health Advisory Board

    Verity Rodrigues, M.S., Ph.D., educational consultant and instructor in Pediatrics at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center's (TN IDDRC/UCEDD/LEND) reatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (VKC TRIAD), has been selected to participate on the advisory board for the National Training Center on Mental Health and Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (MHIDD).

  • AK, KY & UT UCEDDs Collaborate on ACL Mental Health Grant

    A collaboration between the Alaska, Kentucky, and Utah UCEDDs will offer training opportunities for self-advocates, family members, direct service providers, and mental health and healthcare professionals to provide quality mental health services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The 3-year, $2.1 million project is being funded by the Administration for Community Living (ACL).

  • Munroe-Meyer Institute (NE UCEDD/LEND) Nets $1.2 million Department of Education Grant

    Mark Shriver, Ph.D., professor of psychology and pediatrics at the Munroe-Meyer Institute, will be the project director on a new $1.2 million Department of Education grant from the Office of Special Education Programs. The five-year grant, which runs through a development year and four years of implementation, will train graduate students to work collaboratively in interdisciplinary teams to address significant behavior problems in schools.

  • Riley Child Development Center (IN LEND) Participates in Lectureship in Infant Mental Health

    Faculty, staff and trainees from the Riley Child Development Center joined in hosting the annual Darlene Kardatzke Lectureship in Infant Mental Health, as a tribute to the professional endeavors of our dear friend and colleague Darlene Kardatzke, MD. The guest lecturer this year was Ayelet Talmi, PhD, a pediatric psychologist and associate professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

  • MD's 30th Annual Suicide Prevention Conference (MD UCEDD)

    On October. 3, Mirian Ofonedu Ph.D, Training Director of the MCDD, Maureen van Stone, Esq, MS, Interim Director of the MCDD, along with Kiley Law, MD, MPH, and Paul Lipkin, MD of the Interactive Autism Network at Kennedy Krieger Institute presented on a panel titled, "Suicidality in Persons with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities: Assessment and Intervention Strategies" at the Maryland 30th Annual Suicide Prevention Conference in Woodlawn, MD.

  • Social Skills Groups Adapted from Seeking Safety Model for Adolescents and Young adults with Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health Diagnoses (CA UCEDD)
    Authors: Lina Rodas, Bridgid Mariko Conn, Caitlin S. Sayegh, Sari Glassgold, and Sara Sherer

    Mental health providers from the University of Southern California University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (USC UCEDD) and the Children's Hospital Los Angeles Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine (DAYAM) have adapted Seeking Safety to promote social skills development among adolescents and young adults with developmental disabilities (DD) and co-morbid mental health diagnoses.

  • Facing Your Fears

    Website that explains the group treatment program and provides peer-reviewed references on this treatment. This program is a group CBT approach to managing anxiety in youth with ASD - have a program for youth with ASD/IDD as well as working on school implementation of the program.

  • Health Care for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Toolkit for Primary Care Providers

    The IDD Toolkit is adapted from the work of Canada's Developmental Disabilities Primary Care initiative, and it offers a number of tools to address mental and behavioral health, including a Crisis Management Plan, a Provider's Checklist for Emotional/Behavioral Concerns, a Psychiatric Symptoms Checklist and a Psychotropic Medications Checklist.

  • Indiana School Mental Health Initiative

    Working alongside school districts and their community partners, we provide resources, training,and advocacy to build their capacity to promote the social, emotional, behavioral, mental, and physical health of Indiana's school-age children and youth with the goal of increasing school engagement and improving educational and life outcomes.

  • Indiana School Mental Health Initiative

    Working alongside school districts and their community partners, we provide resources, training,and advocacy to build their capacity to promote the social, emotional, behavioral, mental, and physical health of Indiana's school-age children and youth with the goal of increasing school engagement and improving educational and life outcomes.

  • The Center for START Services

    The Center for START Services, developed in 2009, is a national initiative based at the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability/UCED that provides educational and capacity building services, promotes and evaluates evidence-informed practices and approaches, and facilitates START model program implementation across the United States with the aim of improving the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and behavioral health needs. START (an acronym for Systemic, Therapeutic, Assessment, Resources, and Treatment) is a tertiary care research-based model of services and supports. While providing training, assessment and crisis intervention services, START services are implemented in the context of a comprehensive, systems linkage approach, to improve capacity in the system as a whole. First established in 1988, START is designed as a lifespan service for individuals ages six and older diagnosed with IDDMH. The program aims to strengthen experiences and service outcomes. The goal is to improve diagnosis and treatment, support effective services, create service linkages, promote health and wellness for both the individual with IDD and the caregiver, and decrease the need for emergency services. For more information, please visit, call us at (603) 228-2084, or email [email protected]

  • The NADD Organization

    The NADD organization is a national trade organization for IDD and MH providers in IDDMI.

  • The Road to Recovery: Supporting Children With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Who Have Experienced Trauma

    Provides an overview for providers on how to work with children and families who are living with intellectual and development disabilities (IDD) and have experienced trauma. The Road to Recovery: Supporting Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Who Have Experienced Trauma is a training that consists of a Facilitator Guide and a Participant Manual that are designed to teach basic knowledge, skills, and values about working with children with IDD who have had traumatic experiences, and how to use this knowledge to support children's safety, well-being, happiness, and recovery through trauma-informed practice.

  • Vanderbilt TRIAD's Online Mental Health and ASD Toolkit for Educators

    Strategies to support students with ASD and other developmental disabilities and co-occurring mental health concerns and is geared towards educators across the kindergarten through twelfth grade.

  • Via Institute Survey

    The Via institute provides a survey instrument to engage in self awareness of your own personal character strengths free of charge. The survey is available to all and has a version that does not require reading skills. Positive psychology is an important mental health practice.


Contact List

Diane Jacobstein, PhD
Georgetown UCEDD
Center for Child and Human Development
Georgetown University, Washington, DC
[email protected]


Joan Beasley, PhD
Center for START Services
Institute on Disability / UCEDD
University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
[email protected]