Utilising behavioural family therapy (BFT) to help support the system around a person with intellectual disability and complex mental health needs: a case study.

Marshall K, Ferris J.
J Intellect Disabil. 2012 Jun;16(2):109-18. doi: 10.1177/1744629512443619. Epub 2012 Apr 10.

SOURCE:  NHS Lothian, Livingston, Scotland. keith.marshall2@nhs.net

There is a higher incidence of mental health problems amongst people with intellectual disabilities. Family members and support staff who provide support to people with intellectual disabilities with mental health difficulties are more likely to experience increased stress. In the mainstream mental health literature it has been demonstrated that psycho-educational family interventions have a positive impact on the person with mental health difficulties and on the family members who support them. This article uses a case study to illustrate the implementation of a family intervention with the support system around someone with intellectual disabilities, autism and chronic mental health difficulties. Following intervention the family member reported a marked decrease in levels of strain. Both the family and team members reported improvement in functioning within the support system.