The booklets were developed in partnership with the Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities (SCLD) and a team of academics, led by Professor Andrew Jahoda from the University of Glasgow, including: Richard Hastings (Warwick University) Christopher Hatton (Manchester Metropolitan University) Dave Dagnan and Susie Baines (Lancaster University).
In March 2020 in-person mental health services were suspended to try and stop the spread of COVID-19. As the pandemic became widespread, many people with learning disabilities could no longer access vital support from mental health services. As a result of this crisis, the team of academics developed the COVID-19 guided self-help booklets. The booklets cover a range of topics and address common mental health concerns during the pandemic: from keeping active and getting enough sleep, to dealing with feelings of anger and confusion. The booklets have had two updates since their publication in 2020, to reflect the continually changing circumstances during the pandemic.
To date, over 12,000 copies of the booklets have been distributed to individuals and organisations across Scotland. The booklets were praised in the Scottish Parliament as a helpful response to the challenges of COVID-19, and are now available in Welsh and Dutch, and they have even been adapted for use in Canada.