Ashford and Shepway Mental Health Learning Disability Service

Medical Centre, Ashford

The Mental Health of Learning Disability (MHLD) service provides mental health services for adults with learning disabilities.

Central to our aim is that people with a learning disability must be able to access mainstream mental health services where these can meet their needs. They should also be able to be seen by specialist learning disability services where their learning disability means that mainstream services are unable to support their difficulties.  

Where appropriate, mainstream mental health and MHLD clinicians will work with other specialist learning disability services such as Community Learning Disability Teams (CLDT) located within Kent Community Healthcare NHS Trusts and Kent and Medway county councils.

CLDTs consist of Care Managers, Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Community Learning Disability Nurses and in some teams Sensory Therapists.

The MHLD Team

The MHLD team is made up of:

  • Clinical Psychologists,
  • Psychiatrists,
  • Community Mental Health Nurses,
  • Psychologists in Learning Disabilities,
  • Counsellor.

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.

What the service provides

The MHLD service provides:

  • Detailed specialist assessment of the person’s mental health
  • Specialist adapted treatment that take account of the person’s abilities/disabilities
  • Therapeutic interventions, education and support for service users, family members and carers.
  • Individualized care plan,
  • Management strategies and 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.

Eligibility criteria

We work with adults who live in Kent and Medway who:

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


If you want to talk to someone in the Mental Health of Learning Disabilities Team you can:

  • Talk to your General Practitioner
  • Talk to your Care Manager  
  • Talk to your family, close friends or support worker.
  • They can fill out the referral form asking us to see you.

Referral form

Other useful numbers

Community Learning Disability Team (CLDT)     
03000 410 501

Community Mental Health Team
Ashford – 01233 658 100
Shepway – 01303 227 510                  

Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Service                
9am-5pm – 01227 812 211
Out of hours: 07699733903

For Non-Emergency Health: NHS 111

Contact us

Opening times:

Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm.

You can speak to:

Annette Nixon

01233 658100

01233 658179

Eureka Business Park
Eureka Place
Trinity Road
TN25 4BY