Book Review of Intellectual Disabiilty and Mental Health: A Training Manual in Dual Diagnosis

Book review: Intellectual Disability and Mental Health: A Training Manual in Dual Diagnosis
By Sharon McGilvery and Darlene Sweetland

People living with both intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental illness (IDD/MI) face multiple challenges to receiv¬ing adequate care and support. People with these conditions may struggle with challenging behavior as a result of this poor response to their needs. They are the most likely to live in very restrictive settings, have few positive relationships and suffer from a poor quality of life. Outcomes could be greatly improved with proper treatment and support.

This book is 250 pages of incredibly helpful information for understanding the unique needs of individuals living with both IDD/MI. The authors describe practical tools and methods for improving services and supports. This book offers a compre¬hensive review of the many aspects that influence outcomes for people with dual diagnoses. It starts with a review of systems issues and likely outcomes for people if their needs are not met. The authors share insightful information on the effects of cognitive limitations as well as common psychiatric disorders and how they might be expressed. Drs. McGilvery and Sweetland provide a solid overview of behavior analysis, date collection and positive interventions. Specific tools and forms to utilize in actual direct support settings are included as appendices.

In the introduction, this book is described as applying to “…direct care providers, such as social workers, counselors, and direct care staff…”. It is important to note that the methods described in the book would be difficult to sufficiently implement without organizational support. Portions of the con¬tent may be better utilized by clinicians and program managers. However, for the ambitious DSP or the support team ready to really apply best practices, this is an extremely valuable resource that provides the key information to make a better approach a reality.

Published by NADD. Available through the NADD Store (online) and Amazon.com.
Review contributed by Susan O’Nell. Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota.

Review published in Frontline Initiative, Volume 11, Number 2, 2013