The Biq Question

Kierra Box – Young people’s activist

Research showing the incidence of mental health problems among
young people should not lead to a public outcry and more medication
for sufferers. What these young people need is a community in which
they are free to reveal and discuss their experiences, not one in
which they will be simply seen as a statistical problem.

Len Smith – Gypsy activist

It was a shock to find that the official statistics on mental
disorders include autistic children, where a quarter of parents
said the child had tried to kill or harm themselves. Perhaps the
answer lies in clearer understanding of these disorders, and
focused support. Too often, the only support that parents get is
from self-help groups.

Kerry Evans –  Parent of two severely autistic

Autism is a disability, not a mental illness. A Shetland
councillor called for my son to be handed to mental health to free
up beds in a respite home. People with autism can self-harm, but
are exhibiting behaviour which falls within the parameters of their
condition. Mental health statistics need to be more accurately

Shaun Webster – Change self-advocacy group

There’s not enough support for children with mental disorders or
their families. The government needs to put more money in the pot.
Families feel forgotten, left to cope on their own and are stressed
out. More money should be put into parental support, for when they
need a break or help with the housework, shopping, that sort of

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