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Circle of support

These two videos were developed to support people with intellectual disability and carers, support workers and health professionals to talk about going to hospital. It shows how a small support group, including peers, can help a person work through their fears to enable better outcomes.

In one video Matthew and Shona talk about their own experiences. In the second video we hear from people in Matthew’s circle of support, including his mother and support worker.



These videos aim to help people with intellectual disability whose fear and anxiety or mental health concerns mean they do not get the medical help they need.

They also aim to provide carers, families and support workers with ideas on how to support the person they care for, get the medical support they are missing out on because of fear and anxiety.


You could use the videos:

  • as a discussion starter
  • for ideas
  • with someone with intellectual disability and to  talk about later
  • when you are thinking about going to the doctor or hospital and want to hear from other people with intellectual disability.

Background story

Linda was aware that Matthew’s health was declining. She was encouraging him to go to the doctor and perhaps to have an operation. After years of having this conversation, Matthew was not keen. He remembered what painful and scary things had happened to him last time he went to the doctor and then to hospital.

Linda wanted to hear how other carers and families worked through fear and anxiety to support adult children or clients go to medical appointments or have an operation.

When Matthew did overcome his anxiety and came through the operation, Matthew and Linda thought it would be helpful if they shared their story. They thought it might help other people with intellectual disability and anxiety, phobias and mental health concerns.