Autism & Mental Health – remembering Will Melbourne

I can hardly see through my tears as I’m typing this.

This Autistic young man died whilst experiencing severe mental health issues including suicidal thoughts and attempts to take his own life. He begged for support from health & social care, as did his family. Yet he was fobbed off and told to download a mindfulness app…

As an Autistic adult with lifelong mental health issues and a Bipolar 2 diagnosis, I can confirm the fight for support is ridiculously hard and the lack of understanding of Autism in professionals is shameful. I am extremely lucky to have benefitted from an amazing NHS psychologist over the last year, but I’m 46. It shouldn’t have taken this long.

80% of Autistic adults experience mental health issues, compared to only a quarter of the general population.

Will’s mum describes him as having such a brilliant mind, loving, funny, many interests….she could have been talking about my Leo. THIS is why I work as an Autism trainer, educating parents, carers and professionals so they can understand and support us. THIS is why Autism training should ONLY be delivered by Autistic people, who are both qualified to facilitate learning and can share their unique lived experience.

Health & social care professionals will never understand Autism or take us seriously until they are able to walk in our shoes and understand our differently wired brains.

God bless Will. Prayers for your family and friends xxx

Autistic teen posts video about struggles with system https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-58334061

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