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Website design and development for Intellectual Disability Mental Health Connect

Mental health support website

A website for people with intellectual disability, their support networks, and mental health professionals

Intellectual Disability Mental Health Connect provides plain English and Easy Read information on intellectual disability mental health pathways.

It aims to support people with intellectual disability and their support networks to navigate the mental health system; and assist mental health, health, disability, and social service professionals to provide high quality care and support to people with intellectual disability and mental health concerns.

Icon was engaged to design, deliver and help test a new website and pathway tool in support of the project.

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The Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry (3DN) exists to improve mental health policy and practice for people with an intellectual or developmental disability.

Research conducted by 3DN revealed multiple barrier to access to effective mental health services, and a very high need to address mental health needs of people with intellectual disability. Research findings included that staff are underprepared, with insufficient training to make necessary adjustments for ensuring high-quality care for this population.

In a parallel fashion, there is was marked absence of clear role definition and interdepartmental coordination among various governmental services at a systemic level. The compartmentalisation of health and disability services tends to obstruct access, with no well-defined referral pathways or cooperation between services.

Furthermore, individuals with intellectual disability and their support systems often lack information about available support options, and the appropriate timing to utilise these services.

Family of a person with intellectual disability


The key challenge was ensure wide and deep consultation with subject matter experts, people with intellectual disability and their support networks – to understand their mental health journey, and understand the tools needed for them to navigate the mental health sector.

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The approach incorporated multiple stages and methodologies:

  • Stage 1: Initiation of discussions with individuals with intellectual disability, their relatives and support networks, and mental health experts in New South Wales health sectors

  • Stage 2: Formulation of the Tool, which is predicated upon the feedback received during the consultations. 3DN collaborated with Icon to conceptualise and construct the Tool

  • Stage 3: Commencement of the Tool's trial and subsequent appraisal

  • Stage 4: Final modifications to the Tool, taking into account feedback from the pilot phase

  • Stage 5: The Tool will be introduced and subsequently assessed throughout New South Wales. Depending on the success of these assessments, there is potential for a nationwide roll-out of the Tool

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  • Stakeholder and user engagement

  • UX/UI Design

  • Drupal CMS Development

  • User testing

For more information visit idmh connect, or read the launch article from 3DN here.

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