Jonathan Reynolds MP

Representing the communities of Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley, Longdendale, and Dukinfield
labour and coop candidate jonathan reynolds

Autism Services Put in Spotlight at Westminster

Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds put the spotlight on the state of mental health services for children with autism in Westminster.

Jonathan has already vowed to champion the National Autistic Society's 'You Need To Know' campaign, which aims to make good mental health for children with autism a reality.

And on Wednesday (July 7, 2010) he secured an Adjournment Debate in Westminster Hall, where MPs debated the issue for 90 minutes.

"Mental health services fail two thirds of children with autism and often make their mental health worse," said Jonathan, following the debate.

"Health Minister Anne Milton acknowledged during the debate that standards of care for young people with autism and mental health problems need to improve.

"This has a devastating effect on families many of whom develop their own mental health problems as a result.

"The NHS needs to know how to help, and the government needs to know it can't wait.

"I'm delighted I was able to help make sure autism receives the attention it deserves at Westminster."

The NAS has warned that thousands of children with autism in England are needlessly facing a future of mental health problems, because the NHS does not know how to help them.

Autism is a complex disability and so when mental health problems do develop in children with the condition they are much harder to recognise, diagnose and treat without appropriate knowledge. Often they are dismissed as an unfortunate, but unavoidable side effect of having autism.

Mark Lever, chief executive of the NAS said; "We are extremely grateful for Mr Reynolds' support.

"Too many children with autism are developing preventable mental health problems and find themselves up against a broken system that doesn't understand them or their needs.

"It doesn't have to be like this. With the right help at the right time children with autism can have good mental health just as anyone else can."

Along with the NAS, Mr Reynolds is calling for the government to act now to make mental health services work for children with autism and change their future. This includes autism training for mental health professionals and access to specialist autism support in every area

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