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New Zealand: Autistic patients wait over a year for help

Dec 6, 2018, Autistic patients tell Mental Health Inquiry of 'poor' treatment, long waits Autistic people with mental health issues and their families have told the Mental Health Inquiry they're waiting up to 18 months for mental health care and when they get help mental health professionals often don't understand their needs. … Many of the respondents said they struggled to get help unless they were suicidal, self-harming or in crisis and 70 per cent said mental health professionals showed a "poor" or "very poor" understanding of autism…. Long wait times were frequently reported. One respondent said they felt "let down" by hospital staff after they had to wait more than a year to get support for their loved one. A parent said their GP took 18 months to refer their pre-school aged son to a paediatrician. … An Auckland teenager diagnosed with autism, epilepsy, ADHD, dyspraxia and an intellectual disability was in a mental health unit for more than a year, despite staff at Counties Manukau DHB admitting "no-one believes that the inpatient unit is an appropriate place" for him. … Trezona said providing mental health professionals with specialised training in autism and mental health would make a big difference….

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