Reconciling the Past and Changing the Future

Reconciling the Past and Changing the Future
Reconciling the Past and Changing the Future

Know about and work to prevent harms in IDD-MH research and practice

Researchers must acknowledge and accept that reconciliation of past harms in research requires knowledge of such harms, their legacies and a commitment to change the way research is conducted. This must occur across the diverse population of people who live in the U.S., territories, and tribal nations. 

Researchers and other stakeholders can think critically about practices that can cause harm in mental health services and research. It is important to understand the unique harms endured by persons with IDD-MH and their families, including the harm of exclusion from research.

Listen to a discussion between Beth Grosso and Micah Peace, members of our leadership team, about past and current harms in research and practice with people with IDD-MH with diverse backgrounds, identities, and experiences.


Why is Truth & Reconciliation needed for young adults with IDD-MH, their families, and researchers?

  • Researchers conducted experiments that hurt persons with IDD-MH. Young adults and their families may not trust researchers based on past and even current day harms.  
  • Many researchers have negative biases about intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and mental illness. They believe that young adults with IDD-MH do not have the ability to engage in research. Because of this, many in the research community exclude young adults with IDD-MH from studies.
  • There is a history of policies and practices that hurt people with IDD-MH. This includes removal from homes and forced institutionalization, the use of aversives, blaming, and stigma towards family members of people with IDD-MH.

Listen to Micah Peace and Destiny Watkins, members of our leadership team, describe why reconciliation matters.