Mental Wellness – A Critical Element in the New DD Service Paradigm
Nancy R. Thaler, NASDDDS, INC., Alexandria, VA
Demographic and economic factors are driving a paradigm shift in State DD Systems. More and more, adults with DD are living at home with family well into their adult years. The everyday challenges of life combined with the support responsibilities family members assume can be a source of stress. DD Services must focus on the needs of the person and must also attend to the needs of family members – the people who are supporting the person with a disability. Mental wellness must be a goal for both the person and family members, and families must be factored into the model of mental health services in the new paradigm.