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Mental health & ND

Life can be full of ups and downs. Most people go through times in their life where they feel uncomfortable, sometimes painful, feelings like worry, stress or sadness. These feelings are normal and can help keep us safe or motivate us to act in helpful ways.

This video by the Anna Freud Centre gives a helpful summary of mental health and strategies that may support young people that are struggling.

Urgent help

If you or your child has seriously injured themselves or taken an overdose, call 999 straight away or go to A&E for immediate medical treatment.

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Get help and support

There is a range of mental health support in Leeds for different ages, including a MindMate ‘Single Point of Access’ (SPA) team you can contact directly.

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There is a wide range of information and advice on how to support your/your child’s mental health and wellbeing on the wider MindMate website.

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The human mind has evolved, from the stone age to modern day life, to keep us safe. However, some of the human thinking patterns that were helpful in the stone age era can now cause us challenges in modern day life. This video explains this in more detail.

Mental Health & ND

Neurodivergence (ND) is not a mental health condition, just a different way of thinking and processing things. Some neurodivergent children/young people have no mental health needs.

However, research tells us that neurodivergent individuals are more vulnerable to mental health challenges. Seven out of ten autistic people have a mental health condition such as anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) (source: Autistica)

My autistic daughter who is 12 years old really struggles with anxiety. I am finding that the best way to approach things is to follow her lead and do things when she is ready rather than pushing for things to happen as this then makes her even more anxious.
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Louise, parent.

Why neurodivergent people might experience more mental health difficulties

Mental health conditions & ND

Below is more information on the links between specific serious mental health conditions and neurodivergence. While a lot of the information comes from research into autism specifically, the information and patterns can often be applied to neurodivergence as a whole, with or without any formal diagnosis. The information summarises information from research literature reviews.

While the below patterns of co-occurring neurodivergence and serious mental health conditions are found in research, this does not mean that you/your child are likely to experience this. However, if you do feel that you/your child are experiencing any of the below, please seek support from your GP.

*Trigger warning – feelings of wanting to hurt yourself, or suicide, are mentioned below. If you feel that you could be negatively affected by reading the below, please proceed with caution and seek support if needed.