The University of Kentucky Human Development Institute introduces a new project: Merge. The project will strengthen the existing training framework serving Kentuckians with co-occurring mental health, and intellectual and developmental disabilities (MHIDD). By evolving current training, Merge aims to increase and improve the application of person-centered services and referral systems.
Merge hopes to build stronger connections across systems in Kentucky, including state agencies, medical providers, medical service providers, LEND trainees, families, and individuals with MHIDD.
Merge will work with a team of state partners that includes people with lived experience. This team will identify existing resources, needs, gaps, and priorities. Existing resources will be strengthened and will address racial, health, and economic inequities in underserved communities. Once gaps and needs are identified, universally-designed supports will build a trauma-informed, and recovery-oriented framework for application. These efforts help fulfill Merge’s goal to increase understanding and improve the implementation of person-centered, culturally relevant services and referral systems.
For more information, contact Kristen Dahl at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Kentucky Human Development Institute (HDI) received notice of award of a five-year grant from the Administration for Community Living to better serve Kentuckians who experience co-occurring mental health and intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Kentucky Mental Health, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (KY-MHIDD) Training Initiative will let us hone our work from the National Training Initiative that was co-lead with Utah State and Alaska. The goal is to increase understanding and improve implementation of person-centered, culturally relevant services and referral systems. Existing supports will be strengthened and integrated, addressing racial, health (including COVID-19 pandemic), and economic inequities in underserved communities. This is a partnership grant that includes people with disabilities, family members, state agencies, organizations and other stakeholders. Kristen Dahl, Dr. Chithra Adams and Dr. Kathy Sheppard-Jones will represent HDI in this important work.
The HDI is also working with the Child Neurology Foundation to review the materials they provide to help families and youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities navigate the transition from pediatric to adult healthcare system. Laura Butler, Bev Harp and contractors with HDI will review print and web-based content to identify accessibility issues and potentially ableist language or images. HDI will also conduct a training for Child Neurology Foundation staff and provide a resource guide for the development of new materials.
Kristen Dahl, LPCC, CHES, has been selected to co-Chair the Mental Health Aspects of I/DD Special Interest Group of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD). This group provides information on critical issues related to mental health for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD). Their vision is to promote inclusion and belonging for all people with IDD and MH needs. Learn more about this group and their resources on AUCD’s website.
Kristen is the Senior Program Manager for the Mental Health Developmental Disabilities (MHDD) National Training Center. The MHDD National Training Center is a collaboration between the University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the University of Kentucky, University of Alaska Anchorage, and Utah State University. Established in 2018 through funding provided by the Administration for Community Living, they work to improve mental health services and supports for people with developmental disabilities. By serving as a national clearinghouse, we help provide access to the most current evidence-based, trauma-informed, culturally responsive practices that address the mental health needs of individuals with developmental disabilities.
Contact Kristen.Dahl@uky.edu for more information.