You are Okay. Supporting children with mild intellectual disabilities and their parents with mental health concerns

Wednesday 19 April 2023, 10:30 am
I. Riemersma
prof. dr. R. Otten
dr. K.T.M. van Doesum, dr. F. van Santvoort (Pluryn)

Children of parents with mental health problems have an increased risk of developing mental health problems themselves. This study is one of the first to focus specifically on children with mild intellectual disabilities whose parents suffer from mental health problems. These children are at an even higher increased risk because children with mild intellectual disabilities, more often than not, already have emotional and behavioural problems themselves. The ‘You are Okay’ intervention is designed to prevent problems or further problems from developing. An initial impact study was conducted on a clinical group of children with mild intellectual disabilities and additional emotional and behavioural problems for which they received outpatient or residential treatment. This study shows that ‘You are Okay’ seems to be effective in reducing emotional and behavioural problems. In addition, a qualitative study revealed that participants found the programme valuable and useful. Further research is needed to confirm that ‘You are Okay’ can support this target group. 

Ivon Riemersma (1988) obtained her Master’s degree in Pedagogical Sciences in 2011. She then started working at Stichting Pluryn as a behavioural scientist and researcher. Pluryn is an organisation that provides outpatient and residential treatment to children, adolescents and adults with both physical and intellectual disabilities. At Pluryn, Riemersma worked as an external PhD candidate on the study described above. She currently works as a behavioural scientist in secondary education for children with special needs at Werkenrode School in Groesbeek.