Mental Health Act 1983 — [Ms Karen Buck in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:20 pm on 25th July 2019.

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Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Labour, Bristol East 3:20 pm, 25th July 2019

I thank the Minister for that. There are two aspects that I have come across. First, it is often when a child reaches their teenage years, which we know are difficult for any child with all the turmoil that is going on physically and mentally, that the anxiety takes over and they eventually go into crisis, and things that perhaps should have been picked up sooner are only picked up then. Secondly, that seems to be particularly true for girls. We know that it is more difficult to diagnose girls with autism than to diagnose boys. I was told yesterday, although I do not know whether this figure is true, that one in four girls in mental health units with anorexia is diagnosed with autism. There is a lot of work to be done in the early years, before they reach that crisis point in their teens.