The SOOTHE eQuilt of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Supporting Voice

Wolter Paans, Fintan Sheerin (First author), Silvia Buil, Jose Salguero, Desiree Lopez, Eadaoin Foden, Edward McCann, Gloria Mpundu, Carlos Peña-Salazar, Philip McCallion, Sandra M. Fleming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives:
People with intellectual disabilities are more vulnerable to and experience mental health concerns at a higher incidence than their peers without intellectual disabilities. This may be directly related to the aetiology of their intellectual disability but also occur because of negative psychological and social factors that affect their lives, such as loss of self-esteem or lack of meaningful opportunities. The SOOTHE project, sought to understand the meaning that adults with intellectual disabilities attribute to mental health and wellbeing, the factors influencing good and poor mental health, and the strategies they utilised to maintain good mental health and wellbeing. Using an online anonymous survey, participants were invited to electronically submit an image that represented their perspectives on what mental health and wellbeing meant to them.
Methods:
This study, which took place in 2020 during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, employed an anonymous survey approach which resulted in individual images being received from 329 people with intellectual disabilities living in Spain, the Netherlands, and Ireland. These were analysed thematically and brought together in an electronic quilt/mosaic.
Results:
Images were classified into seven potential themes: (1) Covid-19 and mental health; (2) maintaining good mental health; (3) activities that promote good mental health; (4) nature and mental health; (5) perspectives on self; (6) the impor- tance of relationships; and (7) home and feeling safe.
Conclusions:
This paper explores the possible meaning of the images and seeks alignment of those meanings with the rights and freedoms enshrined in the UNCRPD. The project supports the belief that persons with intellectual disabilities have an understanding of mental health and wellbeing and are able to identify ways of maintaining positive mental health.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalAdvances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2023

Keywords

  • mental health
  • wellbeing
  • covid-19
  • creative arts
  • intellectual disability

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