Mental health accessibility requires flexibility due to the nature of mental health disabilities. Different people will have different needs. The same person may have different needs on different days.
Mental health disabilities can be episodic in nature. Episodic disabilities are usually long-term conditions that include periods of wellness interrupted by periods of disability. This means that an individual’s disability-related needs can vary significantly from day or day or year to year. This can also mean that someone with no visible signs or symptoms of a mental health disability may ask for an accommodation or accessibility support; the accommodation might play a key role in helping to prevent or manage triggers or symptoms.
Did You Know?
It’s possible to have a mental health disability and experience good mental health. It’s also possible to experience poor mental health without a mental health disability. Many people living with mental health disabilities work, go to school, have families and friends and are service providers themselves. Read more about mental health.
Today, the goal of many mental health services is to support recovery. Recovery is the personal process by which people with mental health disabilities build control, meaning and purpose in their lives. Recovery means different things for different people; for some it means the complete absence of symptoms of a mental health condition while for others it means learning to live, work and play with ongoing symptoms.
Be flexible as needs can vary. Don’t assume you know what someone needs and don’t be surprised if things change or to “get it right” immediately. Check in to see if new needs arise if the environment changes. Always consult with the person with the disability they are the best expert on their own disability-related needs.