People with autism are much more likely to experience mental health difficulties than the general population; around 70% have at least one comorbid psychiatric disorder. We have developed a novel, specialist care pathway for this population in close collaboration with patients, families, clinical staff, the National Autistic Society. (see: www.peacepathway.org)
This project aims to develop support/resources for carers of people with ASD and mental health difficulties with evidence-based online resources and peer mentor training.
The main aims:1) to improve support for carers of patients with comorbid mental health difficulties and ASD. We will focus on exploring virtual support, including developing the carers section and resources on our website which is focused at present on eating disorders, and continuing to provide and evaluate online groups; 2) To develop a peer support network of carers working; 3) To increase carers’ confidence and skills in supporting their loved ones with mental health problems and co-occurring ASD; 4) To evaluate the impact of these adaptations by assessing economic costs for both carers and NHS services, comparing existing pathways to the improved care pathway.