This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. Autism is not a mental health condition - and is instead a neurodevelopmental disorder - but many autistic people develop mental health conditions. Mental health difficulties can be more common in autistic people than in the general population, and common comorbidities for autistic people include anxiety, depression, and OCD.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected many people's mental health, but has had a disproportionate impact on certain groups - including autistic people. It is important that autistic people, like anyone, receive the mental health support that they need. However, many autistic people's experiences of mental health services include a lack of support and a lack of early intervention.
Mental health services need to improve their understanding of autism, and make reasonable adjustments to their services so that autistic people can benefit from their help. Autism is a spectrum condition, meaning each autistic person has different needs and difficulties, and it is important that mental health services understand each autistic person's needs to allow them to receive the support that they need.
It is important that understanding is improved and adjustments are made to allow autistic people to receive the vital mental health support that they need.