Sharing information is one of the primary purposes of the Dual Diagnosis Forum, especially information about the different ways in which people living with mental retardation and a mental illness can be succesfully supported in their communities and helped to lead full, enriching lives. The World Wide Web is one of the newest, most exciting and most effective ways of connecting people and passing along information. What makes the Web effective, besides its ease of use, is that virtually everyone has or can obtain access to it. Once connected, anyone can become his own "research librarian" and his own publisher. And the Web also allows electronic "conversations", both in real time in chat rooms and via written postings on "Bulletin Boards" and in Guest & Comment Books.
This page is designed to help people find the information they need to successfully support individuals who have both mental retardation and a concurrent mental illness. As we become more sophisticated, we hope to be able to not only steer you to the resources you need -- we also will try to help you tell your own stories and share your thoughts with others. We probably will not be able to support a "real time" chat resource, but we have set up a "Guest Book" where people can make observations, ask questions, and report on their successes. Simply click here to access the "Guest Book" and read what others are saying and doing. Please leave your own comments as well.
When we began to prepare this Resource List, we learned one thing almost immediately. Right now, at least in the psychology field, the term "dual diagnosis" is used to describe people with mental illness and an addictive disorder. Because of this, our search of the Web for sites related to our definition of dual diagnosis turned up very little. This paucity of resources only proves even more that a web site which gathers together information about the dual problem of mental retardation and mental illness is needed. But it also makes it a lot harder to find relevant links.
The Resource Links listed below are divided into general areas. The first covers Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). There are two reasons for this, and the first is really simple -- we went alphabetically. The second reason we've placed the links to Autism, ADD and PDD first is because these special interest areas are already well-represented on the Web, with a number of pages devoted to, and developed by, parents and families who children are affected. Most of the Links listed below contain their own lists of cyberlinks -- connections which offer differing insights into the issues under discussion. Many also offer connections to special interest associations, parent support groups, and professional societies.
The Dual Diagnosis Forum has attempted to screen the web sites listed below to insure that they are relevant, accurate and current. We are not responsible for the content of these sites nor any others which may be linked to them. Placement of a link on this page does not constitute an endorsement by the Dual Diagnosis Forum of the sponsoring organization which sponsors the site or of the site's author(s) or the positions taken by them.
As we noted above, it has proven difficult to locate existing web sites that provide information relevant to the "dual diagnosis" of mental retardation and mental illness. In response to this, we have decided to provide links to sites which are primarily designed as resources for the mental health field. There is a positive side to this -- those of us whose primary interest, either as workers or as family members, is in supporting people with mental retardation are sometimes "behind the curve" in terms of our awareness of the latest treatment modalities for mental illness. There is also rapid growth and change in the information available about psychopharmacology. The Links listed below should help all of us "catch up" on our reading and understanding of the mental illnesses which sometimes affect the people we work with.
Internet Mental Health -- This site is described as a "free encyclopedia of mental health information," designed to share current mental health information with the world. It contains one of the most comprehensive lists of resource links found anywhere on the Web.
Mental Health Infosource Disorders Page -- A broad range of information on mental health disorders. Includes links to questions and answers from professionals and consumers sorted by diagnosis along with disorder-specific web links.
The Mental Health Net Symptoms List -- An overview of the symptoms of different mental illnesses. As we support people who present difficult challenges, it is critically important that we are able to recognize the symptoms of the many different mental disorders that have been identified, and accurately differentiate between what is "behavior" and what are the manifestations of an illness.
Psychopharmacology Tips -- An excellent, award-winning resource containing an enormous amount of information on the pharmaceuticals used in the treatment of mental illness, compiled by "Dr. Bob" Hsiung [actually Robert Hsiung, MD], an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the University of Chicago. This site contains information on medications (via a link to the Mental Health Net) as well as a running dialogue between psychopharmacology researchers and mental health practitioners.
Allen, Shea & Associates -- A Technical Assistance Workgroup located in California. In their work, they place special emphasis on the fields of human services and developmental disabilities. Their page provides access to many articles on community supports and person-centered planning written by Michael Smull.
The Dual Diagnosis Website -- This site contains a significant amount of information on the treatment of individuals with a mental illness and a substance abuse problem. While this differs from the people we support, many of the techniques and program models presented can be applied when supporting people with mental retardation.
The Knowledge Exchange Network -- A tremendous resource maintained by the National Mental Health Service of the US Department of Health & Human Services.
Lancaster County Special Offender Services -- Point of contact for one of the few programs in the Commonwealth designed specifically to work with individuals with mental retardation enmeshed in the criminal justice system.
Mental Health Aspects of Developmental Disabilities -- A Newsletter which "is the first and only journal exclusively devoted to the mental health needs of persons with mental retardation and developmental disabilities. MH/DD is a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary publication, with four (4) issues per year. The journal covers mental health aspects of diagnosis, treatment and habilitation needs of persons with mental retardation and developmental disabilities." MH/DD is a successor to The Habilitative Mental Healthcare Newsletter, founded by the late Dr. Robert Sovner. Their web site contains information on subscriptions, etc.
This page is under continual "construction" as we identify additional resources. If you know about other Links which would enhance the value of this site, please send the URL and Page Title to the Webmaster, J. Gregory Pirmann at email@example.com. This Web Site is not an official presentation of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the PA Department of Public Welfare. The views represented here are those of the Dual Diagnosis Forum.