New 'Hub' boosts care for intellectual disability and mental health patients

Care for kids with complex mental health and intellectual disability needs will soon be transformed with the official launch of SCHN's new Mental Health Intellectual Disability (MHID) Hub.

The Hub is one of two state-wide intellectual disability mental health services, which is set to enhance access to, and quality of, mental health care for people living with intellectual disability.

Launched by Minister for Mental Health, Regional Youth and Women, the Hon. Bronnie Taylor, the MHID Hub has two main aims; to provide more holistic support to patients and families by combining access to specialists from a range of fields, including psychiatry, nursing, psychology and allied health, and to enhance the capacity of local services to provide ongoing mental health care by working closely with a patient’s referring local health specialists.

Stella Li, MHID Hub Psychologist confirmed the importance of the holistic approach to care to help provide the best possible care to patients and families.

“The multidisciplinary aspect is really important because the complexity of the cases we see means that every person in the team contributes in their own area of expertise. We are trying to support these families not only using a medical framework but also a psychosocial framework, so it’s much more holistic” she said.

The Hub services can be accessed both in person and virtually, and the increased flexibility of access to services is particularly important for people living with intellectual disability.


11 year old Timothy and his mum, Allison, have been accessing the Hub services both in-person and virtually. Allison praised the support the Hub has provided to Timothy, herself and her whole family.

"They don't just ask about Timothy, they ask about the whole family. How am I feeling? How are the family coping?"

“We have our zoom sessions once a month which is coordinated with the psychiatrist, clinical psychologist and myself so it all meets up.”

“I’m just proud that Timothy is becoming the young man he was always meant to be” she said.

Dr David Dossetor, Director of Mental Health at SCHN and MHID Hub Medical Lead, noted that a key feature of the Hub is supporting a patient’s existing treating team to allow them to be able to continue care long-term.

“It’s not about taking over care of a patient, it’s discussing the case with the paediatrician or allied health specialist when they get stuck and finding out to be the most helpful in the most efficient way” he said. 

For 9 year-old Lachlan and his mum, Bridie, the Hub has provided critical support and expertise, providing a lifeline both to them and their local treating team.

 “Once we got here, everything changed. They just changed our lives completely.”

“It’s so nice to know that the child I always knew and believed was in there, and had been fighting and advocating for is actually in there. It’s like he’s awake and alive for the first time ever, and it’s amazing.” Bridie said.

For more information on the Mental Health Intellectual Disability Hub, including eligibility requirements, visit the SCHN service page.