Autistic young people and mental health services

Autistic young people and mental health services

 “We’re scared parents with even more scared children”

Are NHS mental health services working for autistic children and young people?


We heard from local families that some NHS mental health services aren’t working for their autistic children. To get a better picture of what is happening we asked people living in Northumberland to tell us about their experiences of mental health services including what is working well and what could be better. We heard from parents and carers of children and young people with a formal autism diagnosis or currently being assessed, or where there is an indication of autism. We asked for feedback on the different services that families were involved with such as school nursing, Children and Young People Service (CYPS), Primary Mental Health Work Service (PMHW), Universal Crisis Team (UCT), and any other services with which they may have been in contact.

We worked with parents and carers to create our feedback form to make sure the information we were asking for was appropriate and gave enough opportunity to provide relevant feedback on the services. Thank you to everyone who shared their views and experiences with us and helped to promote this piece of work.

We are aware there are issues not only in Northumberland but also nationally with recruitment and retention of staff across the health and social care sector as a whole, and we appreciate that the feedback should be considered within this wider context.

This report is an overview of out findings and key recommendations on the issues raised by parents and carers of autistic children and young people who live in Northumberland and use, or have used, NHS mental health or autism diagnosis services.

Autistic young people and mental health services report