How to avoid mental health admissions for young people with autism and or a learning disability.

We're doing ok

Ask yourself these questions:

  • how are you?
  • how are you feeling?
  • how are things at school, college, uni or work?
  • how are things at home?

What you can do if things start to change

You can:

  • speak to someone
  • speak to your school, college or uni
  • try to make time for yourself. This can be something simple like reading a chapter of a book over a cup of coffee

What else you can have in place

You could:

  • arrange an annual health check. Young people aged 14 and over with a learning disability are identified on the GP Learning Disability Register and should have a health check every year
  • make sure you have a care and communication passport for your child or young person
  • make sure your child's transition planning is being discussed ahead of time
  • work on a special educational needs (SEN) support plan or an education, health and care (EHC) plan for your child or young person

Things are a bit more difficult

Ask yourself these questions:

  • how are you?
  • how are you feeling?
  • how are things at school, college, uni or work?
  • how are things at home?

What you can do if things change

You can:

  • talk to someone
  • speak to your child's school, college or uni
  • contact social care for a possible assessment

What else you can have in place

You can speak to your health coordinator who can explore or identify:

  • physical health difficulties
  • mental health and wellbeing difficulties
  • changes in sensory profile or environmental factors
  • medication and review it (where appropriate)
  • issues that mean they contact the dynamic support register coordinator to provide greater support and monitoring
  • changes to the physical or sensory environment or changes to routine increased in positive activities
  • to make sure multi-agency or multi-professionals meet with the education, health and care leads to make sure all reasonable adjustments are made

Things are tough

Ask yourself these questions:

  • how are you?
  • are you finding ways of coping?
  • are you talking to someone?

What you can do if things change

If things change you can:

What else you can have in place

You can also:

  • request a Community Care Education and Treatment Review (CETR). Ask your child or young person's lead health professional about a CETR if you do not already have one arranged
  • make sure your child or young person is identified or monitored through the dynamic support register
  • find out if your child can be allocated a learning disability and autism key worker, depending on the current pilot roll-out
  • think about short breaks (also sometimes called respite) for your child or young person

We need urgent help

It's really important to look after yourself.

You're not along and there is help and support out there if you need it.

You can find help from these organisations:

Make sure you speak to someone and that you give time to yourself.

Get in touch with support services to make them aware of your and your child's wishes.

Speak to someone who understands your legal rights

What else you can do

You can request:

You can also:

When an admission is necessary

Sometimes the treatment in the community is not enough for your child and they need to be admitted to a general acute unit (GAU) or a CAMHS inpatient unit. They can be admitted on:

  • an informal (voluntary) basis
  • or formally, where they are sectioned

You need to consider a mental health admission for your child when:

  • they are unsafe at home
  • they are at risk to themselves and or to others
  • they are under the care of a psychiatrist and or therapist but they're still not stabilising
  • you cannot manage their symptoms at home
  • even working with professionals you still cannot find the right medication or dosing
  • you and your family members are living in fear
  • your child expresses thoughts of suicide or is planning a suicide attempt
It's important to remember that this is not your fault and you need a support mechanism to support you.

Make sure that there's been a CETR to plan your child's admission. There should be a clear reason why your child needs to be admitted. The care plan that follows the CETR should state the expected discharge date.

If you have parental responsibility you have a central role in relation to decisions about the admission and treatment of your child. It's important that the person who proposes the admission identifies who has parental responsibility.

Information you need to look at

These are resources that could help you:

What you can do if it does not all go to plan

If you feel you have not been supported or have not received anything we've listed:

  • contact your ICS or CCG. This is where your health services are commissioned. Contact the Dorset Parent Carer Forum for help with this
  • contact your local Healthwatch

Dorset Parent Carer Council (DPCC)

Full contact details

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