Specialized Mental Health Assessment and Services

"The only journey is the journey within."
Rainer Maria Rilke

IPP's Specialized Mental Health (SMH) service program empowers developmentally disabled individuals with a concomitant mental illness, to:

1) Lead healthy, productive and contributing lives,

2) Reduce hospitalizations

3) Advance human achievement.

Every individual who suffers from a mental condition has different circumstances that will require a unique set of services and/or level of care to address their specific needs. The IPP Specialized Mental Health (SMH) service program provides a wide variety of services, at all levels, for adults and children with developmental disabilities.

SMH services provide comprehensive, culturally appropriate behavioral health care services for developmentally disabled children, adolescents, adults, and their families.  Our clinical staff consists of highly trained, committed, licensed mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, and clinical social workers, who are familiar with the needs of the developmentally disabled and the assessment process necessary to determine needs and possible care options.


  • Mental health assessment: The formal process of gathering and preparing written information about a consumer's mental health and psychiatric status leading to identification of service needs and recommendations for treatment.
  • Comprehensive mental health services: An array of services including those provided on a daily basis in order to assess, restore, or maintain a consumer's emotional or behavioral capacity.
  • Client-centered consultation: One-on-one communication between a consumer, family member, or other caregiver and the mental health professional with a direct interest as decided by the consumer or his/her guardians.
  • Crisis Intervention: Activities or services for a consumer experiencing a psychiatric crisis designed to reduce symptoms, assist in stabilization, and aid in restoring a level of functioning.
  • Intensive family-based services: Mental health professionals working with a consumer and/or the consumer's family to reduce the possibility of restrictive treatment (such as psychiatric hospitalization) or to avert a family crisis.
  • Psychotropic medication monitoring and training: Helps a consumer prepare for use of psychotropic medicines, administration of those medicines, appropriate observation and follow-up, as well as training for the consumer, family, or guardian in the importance and compliance of the administration of medication.
  • Therapy/counseling: Meetings between a consumer and a mental health professional designed to ease or reduce the symptoms associated with the consumer's mental health issues or associated behavioral problems.
  • Treatment plan development, review and modification: The development of a plan for treatment to deliver specific mental health services based on the needs identified in the mental health assessment.
  • Community treatment: A comprehensive set of community-based mental health and supportive services for adults with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses. Individual and family therapeutic sessions are available to consumers at their place of residence up to 2 hours per week.


Specialized Mental Health services are a very specialized model of treatment/service delivery in which highly trained mental health professionals assume ultimate accountability for the mental health treatment of a small, defined caseload of developmentally disabled,  mentally ill adults or adolescents. While encompassing a full range of services, Specialized Mental Health services are a unique treatment model in which the majority of mental health services are directly provided by the program in the client's regular environment.

What is the purpose of this service?

Specialized Mental Health services are intended to reduce psychiatric symptoms and promote adaptive functioning. These services are designed to help people live independently as they stabilize and move toward recovery. Specialized Mental Health services are provided in partnership with behavior analysis services, private psychiatrists, and mental health care centers. The services are based on a mental health services needs evaluation and an Individual Treatment Plan (ITP), which is monitored, reviewed, and modified as needed on an on-going basis.

What services are offered?

Specialized Mental Health services include core mental health services such as counseling, individual and family therapy, and medication monitoring. Consumers utilizing Specialized Mental Health services often receive one-on-one support in which professionals work closely with individuals, their families, and or group home staff on how to manage symptoms in order to maintain independence and reduce hospitalization. Individuals receive support so that they can live in the least restrictive residential setting that matches their needs. Specialized Mental Health services promotes the self-management of mental illnesses and addictions. It helps consumers monitor, reduce, modify, or eliminate symptoms.

Who can receive these services?

Services are provided to persons with developmental disabilities including mental retardation, cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, epilepsy, spina bifida, traumatic brain injuries, Prader Willi, and certain neurological impairments. These core services are delivered to clients who have been determined on the basis of a mental health assessment to have a mental illness or emotional disturbance which significantly impairs their level of functioning.