Learning Disability week is an awareness week run by the charity Mencap, from the 15th – 21st of June 2020. Their theme this year is “the importance of friendships during lockdown.”
Why the theme of friendship?
They want to celebrate the importance of friendships, especially throughout the coronavirus lockdown.
Mencap state that many people with a learning disability will feel isolated during lockdown. People with learning disability already experience social isolation, and unfortunately this can be heightened by lockdown. This is because they will be unable to see friends or extended family or go to the support groups that they normally would.
By focusing on the theme of friendships, it shows the importance of connections with others. It also explores the different ways we can connect with people during this difficult time. Whether it be a wave through the window or themed video call, we are all learning to maintain our friendships in new ways.
Why is raising awareness important?
People with learning disabilities can also experience mental health problems. In fact, some research has shown they can be more likely to experience them.
The Mental Health Foundation (*) found that in children and adolescents, 36% of those with learning disabilities also had a diagnosable psychiatric disorder. When compared to children and adolescents who did not have a learning disability, 8% had a diagnosable psychiatric disorder.
This can be due to people with learning disabilities (*):
- Having additional long term health problems e.g. sensory impairments or epilepsy
- Feeling lonely/isolated
- Being more likely to live in relative poverty
This is why it is important to raise awareness of the problems people with learning disabilities can face. This can also promote support for charities such as Mencap, who support people with a learning disability and their families, and fight alongside them for a better future.
At The Eaves we have practitioners who specialise in supporting people with learning disabilities. Please call a member of the referrals team on 01483 917000 who will be happy to find a suitable therapist for you.