Trauma-Informed Health Care
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are at greater risk of adverse life events and more likely to experience trauma compared to others in the general population. The experience of trauma has many negative consequences including poor physical, mental and emotional or social outcomes across the life span.
People with IDD often can’t verbalize their distress. Instead, this may present as concerning and difficult to manage behaviours. These in turn, can lead to interventions that are further traumatizing such as psychotropic polypharmacy and restraints. Therefore, in health care for people with IDD we need to think of, and screen for, trauma in every encounter with patients referred because of concerns about emotional and behavioural distress or previously diagnosed with psychiatric disorder.
The practice support tools in the Mental Health section are trauma-informed. Key terminology related to trauma is listed in the glossary below.
Browse the resources below to learn more about trauma and intellectual disabilities and trauma-informed health care.