Autism & Mental Health Services Project
The Creating Autism Friendly Community Mental Health Services Project will develop and deliver autism-specific training for mainstream mental health professionals.
This training will incorporate the nature of co-occurring mental health conditions of people on the autism spectrum, differential diagnosis of autism and mental health conditions, and adaptations to therapeutic strategies to support their specific needs.
An advisory group of adults on the spectrum, and a consultant with lived experience of autism and mental health, will provide guidance in the creation of training materials.
The first stage of the project involves a survey and interviews with:
- People on the spectrum (and their families) to learn about their experiences of mental health services; and
- Mental health practitioners to learn about their confidence in delivering services to people on the spectrum.
This activity will identify gaps in practitioner knowledge of autism, their confidence in supporting people on the spectrum, and barriers to effective service delivery.
Data gathered from the interviews will inform the content of a series of training packages that will be designed to meet the diverse discipline-specific needs of mental health professionals.
Through this project, adolescents and adults on the spectrum will benefit from improved access to high-quality mental health services that meet their unique needs, as well as improved integration of mainstream mental health and autism-specific services.
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This project is funded by the National Disability Insurance Agency as part of the NDIS Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) Mainstream Capacity Building Program.