You Need To Know promotional photo. Posed by model © Simon RawlesA new guide, called Difference in mind, sets out what local councillors need to know about mental health services for children with autism in their area.

As part of our You Need To Know campaign, The National Autistic Society (NAS) has been working with the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS) to produce the guide. You can download a copy from the CfPS website.

The guide will help councils' Overview and Scrutiny committees to find out how child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) are supporting children with autism in their area.

Every local council in England will have at least one Overview and Scrutiny Committee - a group of councillors from all political parties who meet to make sure that the people who make decisions in the local authority and local health services are doing a good job. 

These committees can do a 'scrutiny review' of a particular issue (like CAMHS for children with autism) and make recommendations about what needs to happen next. Local authorities and health services have to look at these recommendations and say what they will do in response.

We hope that as many scrutiny committees as possible will use the guide to help them find out how CAMHS are working in their area, and what, if anything, would improve support for children with autism and mental health problems.

Encourage your local council committee to review CAMHS

You can help us by writing to the Chair of your local scrutiny committee. Ask them to use the guide to look at how well-equipped CAMHS is to support children with autism where you live. 

If your scrutiny committee decides to look at CAMHS services, please let us know by emailing campaign@nas.org.uk or calling 020 7923 5799.