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Mental Health Awareness Week – an article by Kieron Lee

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I am writing this article for Anna Kennedy Online, to raise the much-needed awareness for Mental Health, this week, and every week. It is no secret that I have a diagnosis of Autism, ADHD as well as a Mixed Anxiety and Depressive disorder. You can imagine, that managing all of these is extremely difficult.

 

For years I have struggled with severe mental health issues; in 2018 I attempted suicide by taking an overdose, there have been similar events like this before. At the time I felt empty yet full of emotions that I just could not bear, I would describe autism and emotions like “Superman and Kryptonite;” emotions are my Kryptonite. I often question and have never quite understood the reasoning behind my sometimes-erratic response to events that have occurred throughout my life.

 

The way I feel is often overwhelming, I have strong feelings that lead to me being very emotional, almost like an empath is how I would describe it. Sometimes the world just gets too much, and I just need to come off it for a bit.

 

In times when I feel so low, I have my mother, who has honestly been my biggest supporter, critique, best friend, and rock that constantly holds me to the ground when I lose a sense of gravity. I have a lot of friends and even family that weren’t/are not lucky enough to have the relationship with their mum that I do with mine, and I will forever be so lucky for that.

 

Weeks when I do not feel so great you best believe I am able to write the best lyrical content, the ability to do that makes me feel so much lighter. I often “meditate” with the piano and a beautiful chord progression which is so soothing for the mind. Also, getting stuck into coursework really helps! But it is honestly, the love for music and the people that I am so lucky to have around me that keeps me strong.

 

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I met the wonderful Anna and team back in 2016 whilst we were working on our superb charity album “Building Bridges”, which was a significant and memorable time in my life. Since then, I have continued to support and work with the charity.

 

Anna and all the team have played a huge part in shaping the person I have become today, and I could not be more thankful for the opportunities that have been given to me through Anna Kennedy Online, and their amazing work and I feel so proud to be a part of the AKO family. I am aware of the progress and huge difference that I have made.

 

If I can do it, you can too! Never give up. 

I would like to encourage everyone to spread love and positivity in a world that really needs it. Especially right now. I also ask that you try to be the best advocate for mental health that you possibly can be. Be super thankful for your neighbours, thankful for your friends and family. Most importantly be thankful for yourself and know that you have huge value. Try to appreciate the little things in life as much as you can even when you feel like it is impossible. Stay strong. Reach out when you need it. You are not alone.

 

For more information on mental health services, please visit: https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/mental-health-services/

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Mental health awareness week – an article by Paul Isaacs 

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Mechanisms Of Mental Health

Mental health is something that can and does change over time, the world moves on regardless and so do you.

Sometimes this is not the internal feeling however this can be influenced by many different, nuanced, person centred and often inter linking factors.

  • Core beliefs (warped worldviews vs. connected authentic outlooks)
  • Self-Reflection (the ability to manage your own selfhood)
  • Information Processing (the way in which the brain filters information)
  • Nervous System Responses (many mental health conditions mean the nervous system is overused)
  • Emotional Regulation (the ability to recognise, filter and mange yours and others emotional frequencies)
  • Environment (caregiving, educational & community)
  • Attachment, Friendship & Relationship Dynamics (poor boundaries, emotional incest, projection & manipulative behaviours)

Everything Is Linked 

These factors (in various guises, degrees, and presentations) will have an impact on someone’s idea of “self”, personal expectations vs. connected one’s, perception of danger and threat, how one internalises their own emotions and healthy spaces for expressing and objective reasoning, boundaries, and healthy modelling of friendships and relationships.

Paul Isaacs 2023

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Mental health musings of an autistic mind – an article by Tess Eagle Swan

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Mental health

What does it mean to me? Autistic me.

It is a battle ship that sails on often stormy seas. Sometimes the storms are so ferocious the ship is full of water and feels like sinking. Smashed by waves of overwhelming and meltdown, drowning in misunderstandings, crashing into rocks of bad communication, hurled by winds of rejection, unacceptance and judgment.

Click here to read the full article.

Please click here for details of Tess’s book.

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Mental health awareness week – an article by Daniel Docherty

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Mental health, a term too often dispersed and spread around nonchalantly in 21st century society. A term utilised manipulatively by marketing companies and social media to lure the public into a false sense of sincerity. A term attributed to the functioning of an enigmatic part of human existence that experts still don’t fully understand.

This then begs the question, what is this complex concept known as mental health? Despite its popularity and elevation to the status of a ‘buzzword,’ it does have a practical application and effect in the real world. Mental health is a state of mind. Good mental health is in essence a state of mind in which balance and order are present and disturbances are kept to a minimum. It is the state in which your mind is healthy.

Just like the health of our physical bodies, good mental health and well-being is vitally important to our existence and quality of life as a whole. If this state of psychological homeostasis is not achieved, it can have detrimental effects on one’s life and potentially devastating outcomes. Almost everyone on this planet experiences adversities and disturbances to their mental state to varying degrees and for differing durations, but most overcome these difficult times in their life. For others, the adversities are chronic and can even result in a more egregious fate.

On a macro scale it has reached the level of a pandemic with nearly every country experiencing heightened numbers of suicides and people availing of social and psychological services. The phenomenon also seems to be getting younger as well. This can in part be explained by a society that breeds the notion of acceptance and awareness without substance and sufficient supports in place.

This can also be explained by environmental changes such as the rise of technology and social media, greater disparities in wealth, pollution, the modern diet, and a transition from a collective society unified by common goals and beliefs to one that has become highly globalised and hyper fixated on individualism. While this has never been perfect, societies now more than ever tend to lack a coherent bond, identity, and inherently genuine support system for those who are suffering in silence from an invisible virus.

From a Psychological perspective, this chronic level of adversity and disturbance to an individual’s mental state is pervasive throughout many neurodevelopmental and other cognitive related conditions such as Autism, Anxiety Disorder, Depression, ADHD, OCD etc. Many people like myself who have conditions like these battle on a daily basis to try and achieve some kind of balance or stability in their cognition, despite often giving off the appearance that they are in a state of mental homeostasis.

With all that said the chance of a good quality of life can seem hopeless for some. A seemingly predetermined life of despair and suffering. Contrary to this line of thinking, it does not have be that way as there are positive changes that can be implemented. For those who are fortunate enough to be in a good state of mental health and genuinely care about others well-being, you can help by raising awareness of the issues and pushing for a better healthcare system.

You can also look out for and try to help people who are close to you that may be struggling, whether it be your family, friends, or neighbours. Despite this we do ultimately live in an individualised society and often times it is only you who can truly improve your own mental health by bringing about positive changes in your own life.

While it is easier said than done here are some things you can do in your own life to instigate a positive change going forward. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep each night. Try to make small improvements to your diet, whether that is eating more, eating less, or changing the types of foods you eat to be healthier. Try to reduce time spent on social media platforms such as Instagram, where everyone’s lives can seem perfect. Try to exercise as much as possible, whether that is in the form of joining a sport, lifting weights in the gym, or even just going for a short walk every day, as it can improve your physical and mental state. Another key technique is to try and focus on only the things that are in your control.

All too often we get fixated and worried about events that we cannot do anything about which further plays into our negative thinking patterns. It is about breaking these patterns by taking a hold of things that we can control. For instance, we cannot control what others will do or say, but we can control how we choose to react. Another helpful strategy is to plan out your day as best as you can by creating a daily routine and attempting to stick to it as best as possible.

This should reinforce positive change as we are taking back control of our lives. Try also to find something that you excel at and/or are passionate about and try to set small realistic goals that are attainable in order to improve your skills and build confidence in your life.

You can also use rewards for these goals to help incentivise the process. This will help fill your time, keeping your mind occupied and focused on improving yourself going forward. As you progress you should start to gain confidence in yourself and your abilities resulting in increased self-esteem and self-worth.

In conclusion it is not easy to make these changes to improve your mental state and takes a lot of hard work to change your life for the better, but once you achieve these goals you should be well on your way to obtaining a state of good mental health. Although these methods and strategies can be effective, it is still important to talk to someone you trust or a healthcare professional such as a psychologist. And always remember never give up!

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Mental health awareness week – an article by Paul Isaacs 

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Mechanisms Of Mental Health

Mental health is something that can and does change over time, the world moves on regardless and so do you.

Sometimes this is not the internal feeling however this can be influenced by many different, nuanced, person centred and often inter linking factors.

  • Core beliefs (warped worldviews vs. connected authentic outlooks) 
  • Self-Reflection (the ability to manage your own selfhood) 
  • Information Processing (the way in which the brain filters information)
  • Nervous System Responses (many mental health conditions mean the nervous system is overused) 
  • Emotional Regulation (the ability to recognise, filter and mange yours and others emotional frequencies)
  • Environment (caregiving, educational & community)
  • Attachment, Friendship & Relationship Dynamics (poor boundaries, emotional incest, projection & manipulative behaviours)

Everything Is Linked 

These factors (in various guises, degrees, and presentations) will have an impact on someone’s idea of “self”, personal expectations vs. connected one’s, perception of danger and threat, how one internalises their own emotions and healthy spaces for expressing and objective reasoning, boundaries, and healthy modelling of friendships and relationships.

Paul Isaacs 2022 

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Mental Health Awareness Week – an article by Kieron Lee

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I am writing this article for Anna Kennedy Online, to raise the much-needed awareness for Mental Health, this week, and every week. It is no secret that I have a diagnosis of Autism, ADHD as well as a Mixed Anxiety and Depressive disorder. You can imagine, that managing all of these is extremely difficult.

For years I have struggled with severe mental health issues; in 2018 I attempted suicide by taking an overdose, there have been similar events like this before. At the time I felt empty yet full of emotions that I just could not bear, I would describe autism and emotions like “Superman and Kryptonite;” emotions are my Kryptonite. I often question and have never quite understood the reasoning behind my sometimes-erratic response to events that have occurred throughout my life.

The way I feel is often overwhelming, I have strong feelings that lead to me being very emotional, almost like an empath is how I would describe it. Sometimes the world just gets too much, and I just need to come off it for a bit. 

In times when I feel so low, I have my mother, who has honestly been my biggest supporter, critique, best friend, and rock that constantly holds me to the ground when I lose a sense of gravity. I have a lot of friends and even family that weren’t/are not lucky enough to have the relationship with their mum that I do with mine, and I will forever be so lucky for that.

Weeks when I do not feel so great you best believe I am able to write the best lyrical content, the ability to do that makes me feel so much lighter. I often “meditate” with the piano and a beautiful chord progression which is so soothing for the mind. Also, getting stuck into coursework really helps! But it is honestly, the love for music and the people that I am so lucky to have around me that keeps me strong.

I met the wonderful Anna and team back in 2016 whilst we were working on our superb charity album “Building Bridges”, which was a significant and memorable time in my life. Since then, I have continued to support and work with the charity.

Anna and all the team have played a huge part in shaping the person I have become today, and I could not be more thankful for the opportunities that have been given to me through Anna Kennedy Online, and their amazing work and I feel so proud to be a part of the AKO family. I am aware of the progress and huge difference that I have made.

If I can do it, you can too! Never give up. I am now on top of the world with an amazing new friend group, in the process of finalising my EP ready for release in the Summer (Keep your eyes peeled) and I am ready to start university next year, where I will be working towards achieving my degree in Popular Music. 

I would like to encourage everyone to spread love and positivity in a world that really needs it. Especially right now. I also ask that you try to be the best advocate for mental health that you possibly can be. Be super thankful for your neighbours, thankful for your friends and family. Most importantly be thankful for yourself and know that you have huge value. Try to appreciate the little things in life as much as you can even when you feel like it is impossible. Stay strong. Reach out when you need it. You are not alone. 

For more information on mental health services, please visit: https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/mental-health-services/

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Mental Health Awareness Week 2022

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It is the start of Mental Health Awareness Week this week and theme this year loneliness.

We can all feel alone sometimes, even when we are around other people. Longer-term loneliness can contribute to mental health conditions including anxiety and depression – making it difficult to connect with others. As a lot of services became accessible online throughout the lockdowns, it has become easier to connect with one another – as well as get access to mental health support.

A recent study by Boots that explores the changing attitudes of accessing mental healthcare online shows four in five patients (82%) would consider using digital services for mental health while 70% would prefer to talk to a doctor about their mental health or access therapy (72%) virtually rather than in person.

The number of adults experiencing depression and anxiety is still up on pre-pandemic levels, with an estimated 1.6 million3 people waiting to access mental health support on the NHS.

Unlike many physical illnesses, mental health issues cannot always be seen. Indicators that someone is suffering from mental health issues could include feeling sad or down for lengthy periods, withdrawal from friends, family and social activities, and feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Studies have found that increased loneliness in adults with autistic spectrum conditions is associated with increased depression and anxiety, and decreased life satisfaction and self-esteem, even when controlling for symptoms of autism.

Therefore, it is a vital area that needs to be addressed when considering how to improve the daily lives of adults on the autistic spectrum.

During this week we will be sharing articles from autistic individuals sharing their experiences.

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Mental Health Week – an article by Detective Chief Inspector Dion Brown  

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Detective Chief Inspector Dion Brown talks about the importance of looking after your mental health at work and at home. 

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This week is the perfect opportunity to take time to reflect on how we take care of our own mental wellbeing and the importance of doing so.

I am a father of five and two of my children have autism. I am also a Detective Chief Inspector with the Metropolitan Police. Through my work and personal life I have seen on numerous occasions the significant  impact mental health challenges can have on individuals, families, friends and colleagues. In years gone by mental wellbeing has been a topic that people have been keen to avoid speaking about, which only compounds the issue.

Although as a society we still have some way to go, it is important to recognise the progress that has been made. In my view, there has never been better awareness and understanding of mental health as there is today, which can only be a good thing.

I recently completed a Mental Health First Aider course through work, and it really made it clear to me how important it is to look after your own mental wellbeing in order to be able to effectively support others who may be struggling.

Balancing work and family life can be tricky at the best of times for most of us, when you throw in raising a child who demonstrates challenging behaviour on top of this, it can have a really detrimental effect on the atmosphere within the home and the mental wellbeing of us all. It can lead to feelings of isolation, dread of going anywhere socially and cause a reduction in your friendship circle.

You quickly discover who your ‘real’ friends are. However, getting to know others who are in a similar situation to yourselves and understand the challenges and feelings this brings is hugely beneficial. In relation to friends, as with many things, I would take quality over quantity every day of the week!

I work full time and the nature of my job means it can be stressful at times. My wife Sara has been on a five year career break and has recently made the decision to resign to focus on raising the children.

Without having Sara at home, there is no way I would be able to do what I do and provide the necessary care and support to our children. With this in mind, I am very aware of how isolating this can be for Sara in terms of not having the break away from home and interaction with colleagues that employment brings.

It is therefore vitally important that we make some time for a break from it all, to do something for yourself, even if this is for a very short period of time. For example, my wife will go for a long walk with a friend every Thursday evening, this has become part of the weekly routine and gives her that much needed time out of the house where she can enjoy some adult company without the interruptions and distractions from the children.

I like to make some time to exercise and really appreciate how much better I feel after doing it, not only physically but mentally too. This coupled with watching football are how I like to make time for myself, although how I feel after watching football very much depends on how my team have done! In addition to this, the area of the Met Police that I work in, rub wellbeing sessions every Thursday afternoon.

These sessions are very well attended and benefit from having a number of guest speakers sharing their own stories of challenges around mental wellbeing and some of the strategies that have helped them and others. It is also a safe space to discuss how you are feeling and offer and receive support from colleagues.

I would also like to highlight here that the Metropolitan Police have been very supportive of me and assisted me in maintaining a good work / life balance by allowing me to work a flexible shift pattern which allows me to have every Wednesday off. This is something that I continue to be grateful of.

The impact of Covid-19 on the mental wellbeing has been significant for some. Having restrictions on who you can see and where you can go can be difficult and lead to feelings of isolation. However, I am also eager to focus on some of the positives that have come about as a result of the pandemic.

For example, I have spent much less time commuting for work and as a consequence have been able to spend much more time with Sara and the children than I would have otherwise been able to. I have also heard from those who find social situations challenging, that feel the restrictions of Covid-19 and the reduction in contact with others has helped to ease their anxiety. As ever, I always try to look at the glass as being half full.

Thanks for reading. Best Wishes – Dion Brown

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Mental Health Week – How To Improve Your Mental Health an article by our Ambassador Siena Castellon 

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Our mental health and well-being depend on our ability to manage our thoughts, regulate our emotions, and control our behaviour. Of course, this is much easier said than done. At some point in our lives, every one of us will struggle with our mental health. One of the ways to improve your mental health is to recognize and challenge your thinking errors.

Thinking errors are unhealthy thinking patterns that are twisted, distorted, or false. In other words, these distorted thoughts are your mind convincing you to believe negative things about yourself and your world that are not necessarily true.

Since our thoughts greatly influence how we feel and how we behave, listening to and believing in distorted thoughts can significantly impact our emotions, behaviours, and views. By learning to recognize and manage your thinking errors, you’ll build the mental strength to overcome the setbacks and challenges that life will inevitably throw at you.

Below are 12 of the most common thinking errors:

  1. Fortune Telling. This is when we predict that things will turn out badly, even if we have absolutely no proof that this will be the case. This thinking error can set us up to fail. If we believe things will go wrong, we may inadvertently act in a way that causes things to go wrong. For example, you want to invite Kalinda to go to a concert with you, but you convince yourself that she’s going to say no. So, you don’t ask her and end up missing out on an opportunity to hang out with someone you want to get to know better.

  2. Disqualifying The Positive. This is when nine good things happen and one bad thing happens, yet we only focus on the one bad thing. In other words, positive experiences don’t count as much as perceived negative experiences. Filtering out and dismissing the positive can prevent us from establishing a realistic perception of a situation. Developing a balanced outlook requires us to notice both the positive and the negative.
  3. Catastrophizing. This is when we see things as being much worse than they are. In other words, we blow things out of proportion. For example, you text a friend (who usually responds quickly). When you don’t hear back from her for a few hours, you convince yourself that she is mad at you and will never speak to you again.
  4. All-Or-Nothing Thinking. This is when we only see things as being black or white. We may take the view that we have to be perfect, or we’re a complete failure! There is no middle ground. Instead of seeing things only in extremes, we need to recognize the shades of grey.
  5. Overgeneralizing. This is when someone reaches a general conclusion based on a single incident or a single piece of evidence. If something terrible happens just once, we then expect it to happen over and over again. We may see a single, unpleasant event as part of a never-ending pattern of defeat. For example, if you bomb an exam, you conclude that you’re a terrible student who won’t get into any university.
  6. Magnifying The Negative. This is when we magnify and zoom in on the negative aspects of our day. We may declare that we had a bad day, despite having had a few positive experiences throughout the day. Or we may look back at our performance and say it was terrible because we made a single mistake. Magnifying the negative can prevent you from establishing a realistic outlook on a situation.
  7. Jumping To Conclusions. This is when we assume that we know what another person is feeling and thinking and exactly why they act the way they do. We may even believe that we can determine how others feel towards us, as though we can read their mind. For example, you may conclude that a classmate is holding a grudge against you, but don’t try to determine if this assumption is correct.
  8. Emotional Reasoning. This is when we believe that our emotions accurately reflect the reality of the situation. For example, “I feel guilty, so I must have done something bad,” or “I feel afraid, so I must be in a dangerous situation.
  9. Labelling. This is when we take an overgeneralization and put a label on it. For example, since you didn’t know the answer to a question in class, you decide that you’re stupid and a terrible student.

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Here are some suggestions as to how you can learn to recognize and manage your thinking errors.

10. Replace Absolutes. Once you focus on your thoughts and recognize a pattern, consider replacing statements such as “always” with “sometimes.” For example, instead of telling yourself you are always late, instead tell yourself that we are sometimes late.

11. Label Your Behaviour. Instead of labelling and judging yourself, label the behaviour. For example, instead of  referring to yourself as “lazy” because you didn’t clean today, consider replacing the thought with “I just didn’t clean today.” One action doesn’t have to define you.

12. Focus on the Positives. Although it may be challenging, try to find at least three positive examples in each situation. For example, the pandemic allowed us to spend more time with our family, gave us time to explore new interests and made us grateful for things we had previously taken for granted. It might not feel natural at first, but eventually, it may become a spontaneous habit.

One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is to recognize and eliminate your harmful thinking errors so that you can live your best life. When our thoughts are distorted, our emotions are, too. By becoming aware and redirecting these negative thoughts, you can significantly improve your mood and quality of life.
Excerpt from “The Spectrum Girl’s Toolkit: The Workbook for Autistic Girls.

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Siena Castellon is an 18-year-old multi-award winning neurodiversity advocate, author and United Nations Young Leader for the SDGs. She is the founder of Neurodiversity Celebration Week, an international initiative that challenges stereotypes and misconceptions about neurological differences by highlighting the strengths and accomplishments of the neurodivergent community. Siena is also the author of The Spectrum Girl’s Survival Guide: How To Grow Up Awesome and Autistic and The Spectrum Girl’s Survival Toolkit: The Workbook for Autistic Girls.

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Mental Health Week – The Mental Health Act and Autism

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As part of Mental Health Awareness week, AKO has taken the opportunity to focus on the review of The Mental Health Act 1983 (“MHA”) which is currently underway and will focus on what the implications are for autistic people.

The MHA is piece of legislation which addresses the identification “.. care and treatment of mentally disordered patients, the management of their property and other related matters”. A mental disorder means “any disorder or disability of the mind; and mentally disordered shall be construed accordingly”. Some Examples of mental disorders are:

• Schizophrenia
• Depression
• Anxiety disorder
• Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
• Eating disorders
• Personality disorders

AND

• Autism

The MHA details what happens when a person be admitted, detained, and treated in hospital against their wishes i.e., they are not a voluntary patient; this is commonly known as being ‘sectioned’. For this to happen, specific people i.e., psychiatrists and other approved professionals must agree that a person has a mental disorder that requires a stay in hospital.

In hospital a person can have an assessment i.e., under section 2 MHA and be given treatment i.e., under section 3 MHA if needed. This can be done when, in the opinion of certain processionals, a person is putting their own safety or someone else’s at risk. It is important to appreciate that treatment such as Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can be given treatment even when a person doesn’t want it.

It is a certainly a large statute which has long history and has been amended a number of times. It even has its own Code of Practice, a copy of which can be found here HERE. The MHA is limited to the MHA in England and Wales – Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own mental health legislation.

It would be fair to say that over recent years a view has formed that the MHA is not fit for purpose, particularly because treatment seems to vary significantly depending on. For example, protected characteristics such as race. With regards to autistic people, many disliked being characterised as having “mental disorder”. Further there is a strong body of opinion that mental health “crises” for autistic people were often caused by inadequate support and discriminatory attitudes.

Concerns such as these lead to the Government produce a White Paper, which a policy documents produced by the Government that set out their proposals for future legislation in a defined area. It is clearly the intention of the Government to address these concerns by increased investment in mental health services and by the recommendation in the document document which can be found HERE.

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The White Paper – What May Change for Autistic People?

The following proposals have been made in relation to how autistic people who are seen to have a mental disorder requiring intervention should be treated by the mental health system:

a) Autism should not be considered a mental disorder for which someone can be detained for treatment under Section 3 (which potentially has no time limit) ONLY assessment under section 2 for a maximum of 28 days should be permitted. That said, section 3 could be used if there was evidence of a “a co-occurring mental health condition”, but the following clarification is also given which is helpful:

The proposed revisions would allow for the detention of people with learning disability and autistic people for assessment, under section 2, of the Mental Health Act, when their behaviour is so distressed that there is a substantial risk of significant harm to self or others (as for all detentions) and a probable mental health cause to that behaviour that warrants assessment in hospital.

b) The white paper is clear that autism should not of itself be grounds for detention. Further an autistic person who is sectioned should not become over reliant on inpatient services when detained, the emphasis being on being supported but NOT in hospital. Further it is recommended that support it is agreed a person needs when being discharged should be given “statutory force”.

c) Whilst there does not seem to be any specific recommendation in this regard, the use of “restraint” and “restrictive practices” on autistic people in the care system is noted and concerns implied.

d) Mental Health Tribunals review detention and can, if appropriate, discharge a patient form a “section”. It is unfortunate that many panel members lack expertise and experience in autism and is recommended that this should be addressed as far as English Tribunals are concerned. It is also suggested the Tribunal become more accessible and less bureaucratic, as it the case currently and they also be allowed to review treatment and its compatibility with patient preferences

e) The Code of Practice (see above) should “clarify best practice when the MHA is used for people with autism, learning disability or both”

f) Whilst this may seem obvious to many, there is a recognition that “autism cannot be removed through treatment”

g) There should be increased monitoring of the detention of people with autism with the existence of the condition being made clear to support staff.

So, what does this mean? Nothing yet as the above are only proposals. That said, given that sections under section 3 of the MHT will be inappropriate for autistic people without any other underlying condition, it does create the possibility that there will be far fewer autistic adults and young people being detained for very long periods of time with little prospect of relief – something we see all too often now

To conclude, there does neem to be a recognition of how the MHA, designed to support people, often lets people with autism down and this at least is a good start.

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