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"People like me don't get support": autistic adults' experiences of support and treatment for mental health difficulties, self-injury and suicidality

Camm-Crosbie, Louise; Bradley, Louise; Shaw, Rebecca; Baron-Cohen, Simon; Cassidy, Sarah

"People like me don't get support": autistic adults' experiences of support and treatment for mental health difficulties, self-injury and suicidality Thumbnail


Authors

Louise Camm-Crosbie

Louise Bradley

Rebecca Shaw

Simon Baron-Cohen



Abstract

Autistic people are at high risk of mental health problems, self-injury and suicidality. However, no studies have explored autistic peoples’ experiences of treatment and support for these difficulties. In partnership with a steering group of autistic adults, an online survey was developed to explore these individuals’ experiences of treatment and support for mental health problems, self-injury and suicidality for the first time. Two hundred autistic adults (122 females, 77 males, 1 unreported) aged 18 to 67 (M = 38.9 years, SD = 11.5), without co-occurring intellectual disability, completed the online survey. Thematic analysis of open-ended questions resulted in an overarching theme that individually tailored treatment and support was both beneficial and desirable, which consisted of three underlying themes: a) difficulties in accessing treatment and support; b) lack of understanding and knowledge of autistic people with co-occurring mental health difficulties; and c) appropriate treatment and support, or lack of, impacted autistic people’s wellbeing and likelihood of seeing suicide as their future. Findings demonstrate an urgent need for autism treatment pathways in mental health services.

Citation

Camm-Crosbie, L., Bradley, L., Shaw, R., Baron-Cohen, S., & Cassidy, S. (2019). "People like me don't get support": autistic adults' experiences of support and treatment for mental health difficulties, self-injury and suicidality. Autism, 23(6), 1431-1441. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361318816053

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 1, 2018
Online Publication Date Nov 29, 2018
Publication Date Aug 1, 2019
Deposit Date Nov 9, 2018
Publicly Available Date Nov 9, 2018
Journal Autism
Print ISSN 1362-3613
Electronic ISSN 1461-7005
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 6
Pages 1431-1441
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361318816053
Keywords Autism specturm condition; Mental health; Self-injury; Suicide; Treatment support
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1240983
Publisher URL https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1362361318816053

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