Service satisfaction and helpfulness ratings, mental health literacy and help seeking barriers of carers of individuals with dual disabilities

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Abstract

Background

Carer mental health literacy and help seeking are areas that are not well researched in the intellectual disability field. This study aimed to explore the above including service utilization experiences of Australian parents with an offspring with an intellectual disability and a comorbid psychiatric disorder.

Method

Forty-one parents took part in an online survey assessing satisfaction and helpfulness ratings of received services. Twenty-six parents also completed items to assess mental health literacy and attitudinal barriers to help seeking.

Results

Parents showed good mental health literacy with depression and with challenging behaviour associated with autism and poorer literacy with mixed presentations. Few attitudinal barriers to help seeking were reported. Parents reported varied helpfulness and satisfaction ratings with disability and mental health services.

Conclusions

Parents are capable of recognizing the need to seek professional help for their offspring. Implications for service coordination, provision and carer involvement are discussed.

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