Maisie is an autistic teenager whose family battled to get the right support for her mental health problems. They feature on tonight's episode of Channel 4's Kids on the Edge (10pm).
Please be aware that this show contains upsetting scenes.
Maisie's mum, Sally Burke, ran a high profile and successful campaign called Get Maisie Home to re-establish a dedicated mental health inpatient service in Hull, and to set up a specialist crisis community team. A specialist unit had been closed a few years previously.
The lack of these specialist services locally meant that when young people, including Maisie, needed more intensive mental health support, they had to move far away from home.
Sally said, "It's taken enormous bravery for Maisie and myself to allow this to be aired and we do so in the hope that Maisie will receive more help and a proactive package of care to keep her out of yet another far away unit and of course to raise awareness of mental health and the debilitating conditions that we are forced to live in through the cuts to our local services.
“We have seen the programme and even though I had a couple of tears, to me it's only a small flavour of our life but please be warned I've been assured it's a hard watch for people who are not in it.
We're not looking for sympathy, we desperately need change.
We support the campaign, and the family's ongoing efforts to raise awareness of mental health and to make sure vulnerable children get the specialist care they need in their own communities.
We also believe that all mental health services should understand autism, so they can prevent autistic people from developing more severe mental health problems.
Our website has a lot of information about mental health for autistic people. If autistic people experience mental health problems, it is vital they get support and treatment quickly, from a professional who knows about autism.
Our charity campaigns for mental health professionals to receive better autism training. With the right support, autistic people with mental health problems can live fulfilling and rewarding lives.
What to do if you’re concerned:
- if you have concerns about your own or someone else’s health, you should speak to your GP and make sure they know that you're autistic, or that the person you're worried about is
- we know that families of some autistic people in inpatient units want their loved ones to be discharged into the community. Along with Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation, we've produced a guide for families who would like to campaign. Mencap have also produced information on the rights of people in inpatient units.
- if you are concerned or would like advice about autism and mental health, please contact our Helpline. Please note, the Helpline is open 10am-4pm Monday-Thursday and 9am-3pm on Friday
- if you need advice on mental health, please contact the Mind Infoline, which is open 9am-6pm Monday to Friday, on 0300 123 3393
- if you need urgent emotional support contact the Samaritans on Freephone number 116 123
- if it is an emergency, call 999.