OUT NOW: Strengthening Good Practice in Supporting People with Learning Disabilities and Mental Health Problems: Report on a Sussex wide training programme


The need for a training programme for families, carers and professionals was identified following the development of a Mental Health in Learning Disabilities (MHLD) pathway within Sussex Partnership NHS Trust (SPFT).  Receiving funding from the HEE ID Programme working across the South East provided the opportunity to develop a Sussex wide training programme, with potential for this to be shared more widely .

“I found understanding the complexities faced by both customers and practitioners helpful”



The training programme consisted of two parts:

1.  There was an introductory one-day mental health in learning disabilities training that was developed and run by SPFT Learning Disability Services, with support from service users and carers.  It aimed to ensure that attendees would be able to understand, recognise and support mental health issues for people with learning disabilities better.  Three hundred places were offered to clinicians in Sussex, social workers, family carers and care providers across 6 one day events.  There was close to 90% attendance overall.

2. A series of masterclasses for clinicians working directly with people with learning disabilities and mental health problems were offered. These aimed to expand skills and knowledge on stopping over medication of people with learning disabilities (STOMP); psychological approaches for psychosis and people with learning disabilities; open dialogue and working with people and their support networks during crisis; supporting people with a learning disability accessing mental health services and trauma/ trauma-informed care.


For all the training sessions, feedback was positive.  The content of the training and expertise/ quality of facilitators was rated highly.  Attendees all said they felt they had more knowledge and skills after the training.  We asked attendees to write a personal pledge at the end of the training which showed how people intended to the training into active practice in their lives.

To read more about this project click here for the full report, and here for the easy read version. To access the powerpoint produced for the training (which can be downloaded and amended to use as necessary), click here.

For more information, please contact the project lead details below:

Dr Karin Fuchs – Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Learning Disabilities at SPFT – Karin.fuchs@spft.nhs.uk


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