Oban woman in re­search suc­cess

The Oban Times - - News -

AN OBAN woman has been at the fore­front of re­search into the men­tal health of young peo­ple with autism.

Fern Adams, from Ler­ags, was a co-re­searcher with the char­ity Am­bi­tious about Autism and the Centre for Re­search in Autism and Ed­u­ca­tion (CRAE) at Uni­ver­sity Col­lege Lon­don, look­ing at men­tal health and young autis­tic peo­ple.

Fern, 24, said: ‘Our find­ings have now been re­leased in a re­port and we have cre­ated a tool­kit to help young autis­tic peo­ple iden­tify their own men­tal health and know when to seek help.

‘Four out of five young peo­ple with autism have ex­pe­ri­enced men­tal health is­sues.’

Fern is one of 40 young peo­ple fight­ing to change the way peo­ple think about autism and men­tal health.

Fern is a youth pa­tron with na­tional char­ity Am­bi­tious about Autism help­ing to raise aware­ness about autism na­tion­ally.

For the past six months Fern has been work­ing on a re­port and some newly re­leased re­sources. Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, four out of five young peo­ple with autism have ex­pe­ri­enced men­tal health is­sues.

Fern, said: ‘ I’m so proud to have been a part of this work, which is al­ready mak­ing a huge dif­fer­ence.

‘It’s great that peo­ple are be­gin­ning to un­der­stand that autis­tic peo­ple don’t have to be un­well, that like ev­ery­one else we can, and should, seek help but that when we do peo­ple must lis­ten.

‘Our tool­kit is avail­able to all GPs as part of their on­line autism re­sources, which is a pretty big thing al­ready.’

The re­port out­lines three key points young autis­tic peo­ple be­lieve will make the big­gest dif­fer­ence to their ex­pe­ri­ence of men­tal health:

❚ They must have sup­port iden­ti­fy­ing and com­mu­ni­cat­ing how they feel.

❚ To re­duce stigma and in­crease the knowl­edge around men­tal health and autism.

❚ They must be able to find and ac­cess suit­able sup­port when they need it.

The re­port is at www.am­bi­tious­aboutautism.org.uk/the-re­search

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