Mental Health and Intellectual Disability

Date produced 14 June 2011

Kyle is a 35 year old single man who lives in supported accommodation. His explanation for recent angry outbursts is that “the voices told me to”. His mother feels something is not quite right and that he is becoming increasingly distant. The interdisciplinary panel address the key principles for effective diagnosis and management of mental health issues for people with intellectual disability.

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Learning outcomes

Watch this webinar to be better able to:

  • recognise the key principles for effective diagnosis and management of mental health issues for people with intellectual disability.
  • recognise the challenges and opportunities of interdisciplinary collaboration in the provision of mental health services for people with intellectual disability.


Dr Michael Murray
Qualifications: MBBCh, Member of Australian College of Psychological Medicine
Profession: GP and Medical Educator
Based in: Townsville, QLD

Dr Michael Murray is a Townsville based GP currently providing medical education with Tropical Medical Training: General Practice Specialists. He also works at Headspace, Townsville.

Michael has worked for over 25 years as a GP in both rural and metropolitan practice and in indigenous health; his clinical expertise is in psychological medicine.

As the Mental Health Professionals Network’s (MHPN) main webinar facilitator, Dr Michael Murray knows as well as anyone the power of integrated communication. And as a career-long regional and rural doctor, he is profoundly aware of the isolation and restrictions to learning that GPs in the far corners of Australia endure.

He examined the prospects for online learning, especially in regional, rural and remote settings in an interview in August 2012:


  • Associate Professor Julian Trollor
    Qualifications: MBBS, MD, FRANZCP
    Profession: Neuropsychiatrist

    Associate Professor Julian Trollor is a neuropsychiatrist and holds the inaugural Chair of Intellectual Disability Mental Health at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). He has recently established the Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry within the School of Psychiatry at UNSW.

    Julian is involved in diverse research programs including:

    • ageing and cognitive decline in intellectual disability
    • intellectual disability in the criminal justice system
    • human rights & healthcare in intellectual disability
    • ageing studies in the general population. 

    He is also developing and delivering courses in mental health and intellectual disability and works with Government Departments at both State and Federal level to improve capacity to deliver psychiatric services to people with an intellectual disability.

  • Ms Christine Regan

    Working at Council of Social Service of NSW (NCOSS) since 1998, Christine recently became the Disability Senior Policy Officer to establish the NSW Disability Network Forum, a consultative issues forum for non-industry bodies. 

    Christine's roles include:

    • Secretary of the NSW Council for Intellectual Disability
    • Vice President on the National Council on Intellectual Disability
    • Current Board member of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board
    • Chairperson of Nepean Dare to Care, a local disability activist group. 
    She writes a column in INTERACTION, the national journal of the Australian Institute on Intellectual Disability.

  • Associate Professor Keith McVilly
    Qualifications: PhD
    Profession: Clinical Psychologist and Principal Research Fellow

    Associate Professor Keith McVilly is a Clinical Psychologist and Principal Research Fellow in the School of Psychology at Deakin University, Melbourne. Keith has worked as a direct support worker, clinical psychologist, service manager, and as a researcher. 

    He has worked in Australia, the UK, and the USA with people with developmental, acquired and degenerative disability, together with family members and support staff. 

    Keith is the Australasian representative and Co-Vic President  (Asia Pacific) to the Board of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability (IASSID), and Convenor of the Australian Psychological Society's Special Interest Group on People with Intellectual and Other Developmental Disabilities.   

    He is the author of 'Positive behaviour support: evidence-based practice promoting quality of life', and Co-Editor of the “Australasian Code of Ethics for Direct Support Professionals”. He recently authored a report for the Victorian Government, “Physical restraint in disability services: current practices; contemporary concerns and future directions”.

    Keith was a contributor to the Australian Psychological Society's recently released practice guide, 'Evidence-based guidelines to reduce the need for restrictive practices in the disability sector'.  

  • Professor Nick Lennox
    Profession: Researcher, educator, advocate and clinician

    Nick is a researcher, educator, advocate and clinician. He has specialised in the health of adults with intellectual disability since 1992 after training  in general practice and for a time in psychiatry.

    Nick has been instrumental in development of the Developmental Disability Therapeutic Guidelines Book and  part of the WHO World Report on Disability & Rehabilitation.

    He developed the Comprehensive Health Assessment Program (CHAP) which is used throughout Australia and overseas and  successfully advocated for a Medicare payment to enable GPs to perform annual assessments.

Participants who attended the webinar provided the following feedback:

Learning needs

100% indicated their learning needs were entirely or partially met.

Relevance to practice

100% indicated the webinar was entirely relevant or partially relevant to their practice.

Practice change

75% intend to make some change to their practice as a result of participating in the webinar.

This webinar was produced in June 2011. The Mental Health Professionals’ Network’s webinars are produced for mental health professionals. The information is intended for suitably-experienced mental health professionals and does not replace clinical judgement and decision making. It is intended for use as a guide of a general nature only and may or may not be relevant to particular patients or circumstances. The subject matter is not exhaustive of any mental health conditions presented. Health professionals implementing any recommendations contained in the webinar must exercise their own independent skill or judgement or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular circumstances when so doing. Any information presented in the webinar recording was deemed relevant at the time of the live event and after this date has not been reviewed. No guarantee can be given that the information is free from error or omission.

Accordingly, MHPN and its employees and agents shall have no liability (including without limitation liability by reason of negligence) to any users of the information contained in any MHPN webinar for any loss or damage (consequential or otherwise) cost or expense incurred or arising by reason of any person using or relying on the information contained in MHPN webinars and whether caused by reason of any error, negligent act, omission or misrepresentation of the information.