NADD and the Future of Dual Diagnosis

Three major NADD initiatives combine to provide the hope and reasonable expectation of improved quality of life for individuals who have intellectual/developmental disabilities and mental illness.  

After almost ten years in development, in 2007 NADD published the DM-ID (Diagnostic Manual-Intellectual Disability: A Textbook of Diagnosis of Mental Disorders in Persons with Intellectual Disability), intended to facilitate more accurate psychiatric diagnoses in people with intellectual/developmental disabilities.  The DM-ID has been widely accepted and is considered the gold standard in our field.  It has facilitated more accurate diagnosis and has raised the diagnostic bar.

The preview issue of Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities (JMHRID) came out in 2007 with the first official issue in 2008.  JMHRID, published by Taylor & Francis, is the official research journal of NADD.  Its purpose is to both disseminate and to stimulate research concerning individuals with a dual diagnosis.  JMHRID provides a roadmap for evidence-based services and treatments.

For the past several years NADD has been developing an Accreditation and Certification Program (ACP) in Dual Diagnosis which will be rolled out later this year.  The ACP is made up of three separate but interrelated quality assurance programs: a competency-based certification program for direct support professionals; a competency-based certification for clinicians; and accreditation of programs.  The ACP is intended to not only recognize organizations and individuals for the quality of their services, but also to raise the bar for standards in the service delivery system.  In this way, the ACP will act to facilitate the provision of better to individuals with a dual diagnosis. 

While the DM-ID, JMHRID, and the ACP are each a significant milestone in and of itself, and each is a major contribution to the field, I believe that the three, working in concert will have a synergistic effect resulting in better treatment, better services, and improved outcomes for individuals with a dual diagnosis, resulting in improved quality of life for the individuals we serve. 

Robert J. Fletcher, Founder & CEO, NADD

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About thenaddblog
NADD is a non for profit membership organization designed to promote awareness of and resources for individuals who have an intellectual disability co-occurring with a mental health disorder.

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