Mental health services failing autistic Scots

Child mental health web

More than half of Scots with the condition said they have suffered negative experiences when seeking support, a study has shown

7th November 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Mental health services are failing people with autism, a voluntary organisation has claimed.

The Autistic Mutual Aid Society (AMASE) has carried out a survey which shows a quarter of those who were questioned said they have been denied mental health care as a result of their autism.

The group has said there is an urgent need for practitioners to understand and deal with the issues autistic people face in getting access to mental health support.

Sonny Hallett, chair of AMASE, said the Scottish Government and NHS are duty bound to provide a decent standard of care to everyone in Scotland.

“A diagnosis of autism should never be a reason for someone to be denied access to the mental health support they need, yet our report shows this is a reality,” she said.

“We call upon the authorities to improve mental health outcomes for the autistic population by ensuring services are accessible and appropriate for autistic people; securing funding for support services that currently do good work such as some of the existing One Stop Shops; prioritising research into autism and mental health; providing autistic-led training for staff; and creating a route for newly-diagnosed autistic people to access appropriate services.”

More than half of those who took part in the survey said they had suffered negative experiences when seeking mental health support, and 40% said they felt there is nothing out there to help them.

And 36% of respondents said practitioners had inadequate autism knowledge.