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SCLD would like to share a series of guided self-help booklets which have been developed by the University of Glasgow with assistance from colleagues at the Universities of Lancaster and Warwick.

It is hoped that these booklets provide a way of working in partnership with people who have learning disabilities to talk about their feelings and make plans for staying well at this difficult time.

COVID-19 has changed everyone’s lives. People with learning disabilities and their families have often lost or suffered significant restrictions in their support from services. Amongst other things, work and other daytime opportunities have stopped.

People with learning disabilities already suffer higher rates of mental health problems than others. Being socially marginalised, having few friends and limited emotional support make people more vulnerable to these problems in the first place. So the loss of activity and social contact, along with the disruption and worry caused by COVID-19, will have both a practical and emotional impact on many individuals.

The guided self-help booklets have been developed for people with mild to moderate learning disabilities. The booklets have been tried out as part of a national study, and people reported finding them helpful and they were linked with good outcomes.

The new versions of the booklets are for people who are struggling to cope with the current situation. The booklets can be used with the support of family members, friends, volunteers or workers. The booklets are also suitable for social work and health professionals. Even if individuals do have literacy skills, the idea behind the booklets is to give people an opportunity to talk through their feelings with someone else. There is a guide accompanying each of the booklets, explaining how the content should be delivered.

The materials include an Introductory Booklet, to let the person know what is available. There are booklets about understanding and coping with Feeling Down and Feeling Anxious. The other booklets are about important ways of staying well. They cover A Good Night’s Sleep, Staying Active and Problem Solving. There is also an online film of a relaxation exercise that some people might find helpful.

All the Booklet PDFs, along with support about how to deliver them, are available at:

https://www.scld.org.uk/information-on-coronavirus/

Printed versions are available, as not everyone is on the internet or has a smart phone.

If you require printed copies of the resources please complete the attached Order Form and return this via email to admin@scld.co.uk

Colleagues at Glasgow University are keen to receive feedback on the resources and would also like to hear from you if you have anything further to discuss. Please send your feedback to ihw-cope@glasgow.ac.uk