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 Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 3:20 pm, 25th July 2019

I agree with every word that the hon. Lady says. One of our expectations of the new mental health support teams that we are rolling out into schools is that they will be able to work with schools and to spot people who might be in trouble. She is right that, with girls particularly, autism is under-diagnosed, and by the time the challenges start to have an impact on mental health, it is much more difficult to give people appropriate support. Early diagnosis is key.

I am pleased that we are now setting up a unit within the Department of Health and Social Care to look at neurodiverse conditions and what more we can do to improve service provision for them. I am also pleased that NHS England shares my concern about this and that we can expect more work on it, but there remains a lot to do and I do not shirk from admitting that.