March 1, 2017 (Jackson, Miss.) –The Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH) is recognizing Intellectual/Developmental Disabilies Day at the Capitol on March 22 from 1:30 p.m. until 4 p.m.
DMH employees, advocates, and others will be on hand to share information about intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD). DMH operates five programs that provide services to people with IDD, and is also responsible for the development and implementation of services that meets the needs of people with disabilities. IDD Day at the Capitol gives employees and advocates a chance to meet with legislators, sharing with them information about IDD services in the state and the ways the public mental health system has been able to meet their needs.
“The department has worked diligently over the past several years to expand our system of care into one that focuses on a person-centered approach that lets people receive services in their communities, with supports and treatments designed to let them live in the most independent settings possible,” DMH Executive Director Diana Mikula said.
“I am proud of our employees and our partners in the community who are helping Mississippians live successful lives in their own homes and their own communities.”
Intellectual and developmental disabilities cover a broad range of often misunderstood characteristics. An intellectual disability is characterized by limitations in intellectual functioning and challenges in a variety of everyday social and practical skills. A developmental disability is attributed to a cognitive or physical impairment that results in the need for supports in areas such as personal care, communication, and independent living.
“Working side by side, people with disabilities and people without disabilities can come together to form strong and diverse communities that acknowledge the contributions everyone can make,” Mikula said.
DMH is supporting a better tomorrow by making a difference in the lives of Mississippians with mental illness, substance use disorders and intellectual or developmental disabilities one person at a time.