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VKC Conversation Series on Research in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: "Mental Health in Individuals with IDD"

Date: March 30, 2023

Time: 5:30PM to 6:30PM

Location: Online - register for MS Teams link

VKC Conversation Series on Research in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Mental Health in Individuals with IDD
Thursday, March 30, 5:30-6:30 p.m. CT
Register for the Microsoft Teams link here.

The VKC Conversation Series on Research in Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities is designed to share research in plain, accessible language with the community while fielding questions from the audience. We invite anyone who is interested in learning more about VKC research to attend this event.

Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) report mental distress almost five times more often than adults without disabilities. Despite the prevalence, little is known about the best approaches for supporting the needs of people with IDD and co-occurring mental health challenges. Individuals with IDD can experience a multitude of psychiatric disorders, however, unlike the general population, psychiatric symptoms in this population are often attributed to their disability rather than mental illness, in a phenomenon known as "diagnostic overshadowing.”

Join us for an online community discussion with VKC researchers on the topic of mental health and IDD, touching on themes such as increased stigma, accessibility and affordability of supports and treatment options, and more. The speakers will speak in accessible, plain language while answering questions from the viewing audience in real time.


  • Autumn Kujawa, Ph.D., studies the development of emotional processing and how atypical development of these processes contributes to the risk for mood disorders.
  • Verity Rodrigues, M.S., Ph.D., is an educational consultant for VKC TRIAD and is Tennessee Children’s Mental Health Champion through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD).
  • Jessica Schwartzman, Ph.D., studies individuals with dual diagnoses of mental health disorders and disabilities. Projects primarily investigate depression and suicide among individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities.
  • Jeff Neul, M.D., Ph.D. (Moderator), Annette Schaffer Eskind Chair and Director, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center; Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neurology, Pharmacology, and Special Education

Register for the Microsoft Teams link here: https://events.teams.microsoft.com/event/57e8a94b-acdc-48c4-8b6e-b3520f723609@ef575030-1424-4ed8-b83c-12c533d879ab

The VKC welcomes participants with disabilities. Contact kc@vumc.org for disability access information.

For accessibility information or to request an accommodation

Contact kc@vumc.org or 615-322-8240 for disability access information; 2 weeks advance notice is recommended for some accommodations (e.g., Braille, signing).