Supporting Individuals with IDD in the Mental Health System

Enhancing mental health support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

While developmental disabilities (DD) and mental illness (MI) are two distinct and separate experiences, in reality, many individuals with developmental disabilities also experience mental illness. This course will help explore these differences, debunk myths, and shed light on the often intersectional nature of these lived experiences. By recognizing the significance of these combined challenges, we can foster a powerful advocacy voice that promotes for the rights, needs, and positive change for people with developmental disabilities who experience mental illness.

This no-cost, solutions-focused training will review:

  • What Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) are;
  • Overview of Mental Illness (MI)/Mental Health;
  • What an IDD/MI Dual Diagnosis is;
  • How we can best support people who have a Dual Diagnosis of IDD/MI;
  • What to do when a Mental Health Crisis arises; and
  • The potential future of supporting people who have an IDD/MI dual diagnosis.

What to expect:

  • A 1-hour and 40-minute, self-paced, video slide-based presentation
  • Instructors: Krystal Dawson and Erica Dennison
  • Guest Speakers: Jeff Kisicki, LCSW and Matthew Mock, LCSW from Collaborative Services for Change, PC. Jody Domsch, a parent of an individual who has a developmental disability and mental illness.
  • Downloadable TOOLS including the Respect First Language Guide, Differences between Mental Illness and Developmental Disabilities chart, and Mental Health Resources list.
  • Closed captioning in English
  • Digital Certificate of Completion for entire course achievement

Who should take this course:

  • Caregivers and family members of people with developmental disabilities;
  • Professionals who work with people with developmental disabilities;
  • Educators and school staff who interact with students with developmental disabilities;
  • Medical professionals and students;
  • Policy Makers and Legislators who are involved in creating and implementing policies related to disability rights and mental health services;
  • Direct Service Providers; and
  • Disability Advocacy Organizations.

This work is made possible through support from arc Thrift Stores, Colorado Access, Colorado Developmental Disabilities Council, Developmental Pathways, The Limbaugh Law Firm, The Arc of Aurora.


Due to the varying requirements of different organizations and disciplines, THINK+change does not seek prior accreditation of educational courses for CLE/CEUs. Please consult the rules of your organization regarding the procedures for receiving continuing education credits. This course may qualify for up to 1-hour and 40-minutes of CLE/CEU. You will also receive a digital certificate verifying your completion of the course to submit. If you require further verification or have other questions, please contact us.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for medical or legal advice. You should consult your own medical or legal advisors for specific and personalized advice.

Your Instructor

THINK+change Team
THINK+change Team

THINK+change offers solutions-focused training and education that change knowledge, attitude, and behavior to ultimately improve the quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). THINK+change is a training and education program of The Arc of Aurora which was incorporated in 1975 as an advocacy organization for people with IDD. Since the inception of THINK+change in 2017, the education program has been a trailblazer in disability education and has trained and brought together thousands of people with IDD, their families, and the professionals in their lives who want to keep up with trends and developments in the disability field and grow professionally. All people with disabilities deserve respect and deserve better.

Course Curriculum

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Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

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