What the MHA review means for autistic people | MHT

What does the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act mean for autistic people?

The Independent Review of the Mental Health Act was published last week and recommended welcome and far reaching proposals to improve mental health care in England and Wales. 

“Autism is not a mental health condition and it is inappropriate for autism to be included in the definition in this way”.

The recommendations, if taken forward by the Government, could help a lot of autistic people get better mental health support – and mean that fewer autistic people end up being admitted to inappropriate mental health hospitals.

But, we believe the review could and should have gone further.


Autism is, of course, not a mental health condition. But research shows that many autistic people struggle with poor mental health, like anxiety and depression. This can be devastating and have a lifelong impact. However, far too many autistic people have to wait far too long for support – or are given support that simply won’t work for autistic people – and end up falling into crisis.

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