Mental Health of Learning Disability Service: Information for Carers and Family Members

What is a Mental Health of Learning Disabilities team?

The Mental Health of Learning Disability (MHLD) service is part of the mental health services provided by Kent and Medway NHS Partnership Trust. Central to our aim is that people with a learning disability must be able to access mainstream mental health services.  They should also be able to be seen by specialist learning disability services where their learning disability complicates their difficulties beyond those that mainstream services can support.    

The MHLD service is divided into seven local MHLD teams. Each team has a strong working relationship with the local Community Learning Disability Team (CLDT). The CLDT consist of Care Managers, Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Community Learning Disability Nurses and Speech and Language Therapists.

The MHLD teams are made up of:

  • Psychology staff
  • Psychiatrists
  • Community Mental Health Nurses

What is a Learning Disability?

For a diagnosis of learning disability a person must have:

  1. A significant global impairment of intellectual functioning (i.e. an IQ of 70 or below).
  2. Significant limitations in at least two areas of adaptive, social and communication skills.
  3. Both of the above must be present before the age of 18.

Who do we help?

We work with adults who reside within the KMPT catchment area and who:

  • Have a diagnosed or suspected Learning Disability and
  • There is evidence or suspicion of mental illness, psychological disturbance, personality disorder and/or significant challenging behaviour
  • The person may be engaging in behaviours that pose a significant risk to themselves or others.

 What support  do we offer?

 The MHLD teams provide:

  • Detailed specialist assessment of the person’s mental health
  • Specialist adapted treatment which takes account of the person’s abilities/disabilities
  • Therapeutic interventions, education and support for service users, family members and carers.
  • Individualized care plan,
  • Management strategies, support and education for service users and their carers.
  • Enhanced CPA co-ordination for those with learning disabilities and severe mental illness and/or severe behavioural problems where there is a high degree of risk.
  • Mental health promotion for people with learning disabilities.
  • Client based skills training for local learning disability service providers and professionals.
  • Consultation, supervision, joint work and allocation for direct work with mainstream mental health services.

How soon will we respond to referrals?

We try to complete an initial assessment within 28 days of a referral being received.

This assessment enables us to decide together whether support from the MHLD team is needed and if so what kind of support.

If the person poses a significant risk to themselves or others, we aim to respond within 24 hours of receipt of the referral.   

Other useful information:

Mental Health of Learning Disability (MHLD) service pages

Carers Trust website

Patient Experience Team

Mencap website