Entitled ‘From Science to Practice: Improving Mental Health in Persons with Intellectual Disability’, the 2021 EAMHID congress brings together a range of stakeholders and champions the implementation of scientific findings to improve people’s daily lives and clinical practice. The various contributions from the invited speakers gathered in this book will further stimulate the transfer of knowledge from research to practice and provide the option for an indepth engagement with the different topics. We hereby aim to further promote the exchange of knowledge in terms of evidencebased methods and bestpractice examples throughout Europe.
A central question is the understanding (or not understanding) of people with developmental disabilities. Hereby, different approaches are chosen from the authors to address this fundamental question in its epidemiological, developmental, psychological, therapeutic and educational facets. What idea do we have of the other person? And how can we support her or him to live a good and healthy life? When reading through the different contributions, the relationship between the person with a disability, their families, social environments and the professionals seems to be key. Different options to shape and consider interactions and communications will be presented by the international colleagues, and it will take a lot out of the reader to implement these demanding tasks into their daily life.
Social inclusion, structured social activities and participation are considered significant strategies for improving mental health. Supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities thus leads to system changes in the larger context. This can be impacted upon by organizational and structural aspects of service providers, but also the development of medical standards in treatment and care.
The topics addressed by the authors were arranged according to basic science, mental health, treatment and care, and living in the community. All contributions are cuttingedge and many propose innovative ways of support and service provision. We hereby want to inspire the readership and paint the thrilling picture of moving forward – side by side with the persons, their families and your colleagues.
One chapter stands alone for itself as it gives us insights into one of the darkest chapters of German history, the Nazi regime and the devastating T4 action – the murder of persons with disabilities. In the light of the futureoriented goals of the congress we want to keep the memories alive to all the victims and cruelties that happened that time. It must not be forgotten, not today, and not in the future.
We finally want to thank all the authors for their additional work they put into the writing of the chapters or the given interviews.
And now, we invite you to dive into the exiting read. Take care and stay safe – wherever you are!
Tanja Sappok and Reinhard Burtscher
Berlin, June 2021