Frontline Initiative: Supporting Healthy Relationships

“Look, this is who I am.”

Richard wanted to talk about having a relationship. The people around him kept putting off that conversation. When he finally worked up the courage, he told the people that supported him that he was gay. He was told he was just going through a phase. He thought he had made a mistake by telling them.  Finally he got fed up by not being taken seriously said, “Look, this is who I am. You’re are being paid to give me the care I need here, and this is the care I need. I need some support to be the person I am.” Richard had to take some drastic steps to get the support he needed. The people who support him became the best support he could imagine. Watch his story.

What DSPs can learn from Richard’s story? Here are a few lessons —

  • Understanding sexual feelings and healthy relationships are areas in which people need supports.
  • Richard wanted his DSPs to listen to him.  He also wanted them to allow him to learn by taking risks and making mistakes.
  • All people should be allowed to have sexual feelings and receive support to express their needs.

Richard is from the United Kingdom (UK). The UK uses the term Learning Disability for individuals who have an intellectual or developmental disability.

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) is in the UK and improves the lives of people of all ages by co-producing, sharing, and supporting the use of the best available knowledge and evidence about what works in practice.