People with intellectual disabilities are at a higher risk for other health problems, including mental health (i.e. emotional or behavioral) issues, referred to as dual diagnosis.
Despite this higher risk, there is both a lack of understanding among mental health professionals of how to treat people with intellectual disabilities as well as a lack of appropriate rehabilitative services for this population. Most families of people with dual diagnosis must fend for themselves without appropriate support from professional caregivers, who themselves feel helpless and lack the skills to intervene appropriately.
It was out of deep concern for these families that the first ommunity-based clinic for people with dual diagnosis was established at Beit Issie Shapiro in 2009. We have now successfully treated over 200 clients and have gained much insight and knowledge into how to treat this challenging population.
In July 2015, our clinic received official recognition from the Ministry of Health as a specialized medical service, paving the way for the Health Insurance Care Providers to fund our services. Our goal is to serve as a model for replication throughout the country.
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