What is the research about and why is it important?
Youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have greater mental health needs than the non-IDD population but experience a service cliff after transition out of school and pediatric health care. A lack of evidence-based, preventive mental health treatment has led youth and young adults with IDD to use more crisis services for their mental health compared to people without IDD. Other studies have found that people with IDD go to emergency rooms (ER) and hospitals to treat their mental health more often than people without disabilities. Using emergency services costs a lot of money and is traumatizing for all involved.
In this study, the project team will compare an in-person to a telemental health-delivered crisis prevention program for youth and young adults with IDD. The team will deliver these two interventions within START (Systemic, Therapeutic, Assessment, Resources, and Treatment), a national model of crisis prevention and intervention services for people with IDD. Telemental health means that mental health services are provided through the internet and/or phone.
Who can this research help?
The study will help youth and young adults with IDD, their family members, and service providers know the best way to deliver crisis prevention mental health services to this group. The team will share its results directly with research participants and the START network, as well as with national organizations targeting youth and young adults with IDD and their families. Beyond START, results of this study will help to increase the global capacity to employ telemental health methods with this underserved population.
Who is doing this study?
The research team includes researchers from the National Center for START Services at the UNH Institute on Disability/UCED, other researchers interested in the experiences of diverse youth and young adults with IDD and their families, and people with lived experience. The team will also receive feedback from an advisory council that includes youth and young adults with IDD, family members, advocacy organizations, mental health researchers and providers, and policy makers.