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It's time to listen

People with a learning disability have often struggled with social inclusion and finding opportunities to be socially active. This has been made worse by the pandemic: long periods of isolation due to national lockdowns have taken their toll, but so too has the reduction or closure of day services and shrinking social care support.  

Why now?

As the UK builds back from the global coronavirus pandemic, there is a risk that policymakers will ignore the mental health needs of people with a learning disability – and we can’t let that happen. 

Our work

Over the next few years, we will work with people with a learning disability, families, the public, professionals and policymakers to promote understanding and practical support around mental health for people with a learning disability. 

We will also be looking to make sure that when the going gets tough, and people's mental health becomes negatively impacted, that the right support is there to meet their needs.   

What you need to know

A mental illness is not the same as a learning disability. Mental health problems include depression and bi-polar disorder. Though, just like everyone else, someone with a learning disability can also have mental health problems. 

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Looking after your mental health and wellbeing

People with a learning disability and their supporters have told us that it’s not always easy to find accessible information about mental health and wellbeing. To help change that, we’ve created some Easy Read guides and other helpful resources.

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Image showing pages from the report exploring the lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the people’s mental health.

Our mental health research

Download our report on loneliness funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in full or in easy read.

Report Easy Read
The research showed
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of people who responded to Mencap’s Big Learning Disability Survey in 2022 said they had been sad in the last week.

1 in 2

people with a learning disability experience poor mental health, compared in 1 in 4 of the general population.


of family members in 2022 said that their loved one was spending less time outside the home than before the pandemic.


of survey respondents experiencing mental health problems still don’t know where they can go for support.

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Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch to tell us your story about mental health, and help us show the world what it's like to live with a learning disability.


Send us your story

Ways to improve your wellbeing and your mental health

If you have a learning disability there are Mencap events and activities that you can take part in.

Gig Buddies

Gig Buddies is a project that matches people with a learning disability with a volunteer who has similar interests to go to nightlife activities together. Find out more.

Round the World Challenge

Round the world challenge is a fun, physical activity challenge that helps you lead a healthy and active lifestyle. Find out more

All Move

The All Move challenge is a physical activity initiative for schools and youth groups which support 11-16 year olds with a learning disability (school years 7-11). Find out more

Learning Disability Week

Every year we have Learning Disability Week. It is all about making sure the world hears what life is like if you have a learning disability. Find out more

Contact us

Our free helpline offers advice and support for people with a learning disability, and their families and carers.

Use our online form to contact us.