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Autism charity launches campaign


9:54am 5th April 2011

Autism charity launches local campaign to improve mental health services for children in York
The National Autistic Society (NAS) will next week launch its You Need To Know (YNTK) campaign in York, aiming to tackle the unfit mental health system that currently fails two thirds of children with autism.
The launch event will take place between 9.45am and 12.00pm at York Sports Club in York on Tuesday 5th April 2011.
Over 70%* of children with autism have a mental health problem, such as depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and other anxiety disorders, despite the fact that many of these problems are preventable.

Autism is a complex disability and so when mental health problems do develop in children with the condition they are much harder to recognise, diagnose and treat without appropriate knowledge.

Tragically, they are often dismissed as an unfortunate, but unavoidable side effect of having autism.
Members of local NAS branches will be attending the launch, along with parents of children with autism living in the region as well as national NAS representatives and Children and Adult Mental Health (CAMHS) professionals.
Lisa Pitkeathly, NAS Senior Regional Officer said:

"Too many children with autism are developing preventable mental health problems and find themselves unable to get help or up against a system that doesn't understand them or their needs.

"Parents and professionals alike are crying out for more autism support, and local authorities in the South West must ensure this support is available in every area and that mental health professionals receive adequate training. If this doesn't happen, they risk failing thousands of children and their families".   
"I hope the You Need To Know campaign will encourage more awareness, tolerance and understanding of autism and the different ways in which it affects individuals so that schools and workplaces are also able to put adequate support networks in place, and consequently reduce the number of children and young people suffering from mental health problems".    

The NAS is calling on supporters in the area to take action by contacting local decision-makers to make them aware of the YNTK campaign.

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