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(UK) Govt has $102M 5yr autism plan; more awareness/support called for

July 21, 2021, Gov.UK: New landmark strategy to improve the lives of autistic people https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-landmark-strategy-to-improve-the-lives-of-autistic-people

The government has launched a new multi-million pound strategy to speed up diagnosis and improve support and care for autistic people. … Improving the lives of autistic people is the focus of a new multi-million pound strategy launched by the government today. Backed by nearly £75 million [$102M U.S.] in the first year, it aims to speed up diagnosis and improve support and care for autistic people. The funding includes £40 million through the NHS Long Term Plan to improve capacity in crisis services and support children with complex needs in inpatient care. … Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: Improving the lives of autistic people is a priority and this new strategy, backed by almost £75 million in the first year, will help us create a society that truly understands and includes autistic people in all aspects of life. It will reduce diagnosis waiting times for children and adults and improve community support for autistic people. This is crucial in reducing the health inequalities they face, and the unacceptable life expectancy gap that exists today. Minister for Care Helen Whately said: Far too many autistic people still struggle to get the support they need in childhood, and as adults – and this is often exacerbated by not getting a timely diagnosis. … There are approximately 700,000 autistic people in the UK and a large number experience health inequalities during their lives. The life expectancy gap for autistic people is approximately 16 years on average compared to the general population and almost 80% of autistic adults experience mental health problems during their lifetime.