Intellectual disability and youth mental health

Intellectual disability is the term given to permanent impairment in general mental abilities, which results in reduced functioning. It is a lifelong disability with onset during the developmental period, typically before 18 years of age.

This fact sheet is designed for clinical and non-clinical professionals who work with young people. It will help you to understand how intellectual disability:

  • impacts on conceptual development (e.g. language, knowledge and reasoning)
  • affects social and practical skills
  • ranges from mild to severe impairment.

The factsheet summarises the common assessment and treatment approaches of mental illness in young people with intellectual disability, and provides further resource to support you, the young people you work with, their families and other supports.