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The guide to good mental health on the autism spectrum

In March a collaboration between Jeannette Purkis, myself and Dr Jane Nugent is being released. The book is called The Guide to Good Mental Health on the Autism Spectrum and is published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. More details are at:

This collaboration behind this book has enabled the authors to write in a way that will be empowering for people on the Autism Spectrum looking to improve their mental health as well as enabling clinicians to gain a deeper insight into how mental health can present and affect people on the autism spectrum.

Kirsty Dempster-Rivett, MSocSci PGDip Psych (Clin.) a clinical psychologist with a wealth of experience supporting at risk youth in prisons and in the forensic youth mental health services asserts that:

“This book provides the education needed to aid accurate identification of mental health conditions for people on the spectrum. This is essential to reduce the chance that thoughts and behaviours are not incorrectly attributed to autism alone or missed entirely. For example, withdrawal from others or agitation may be attributed to having autism, but may actually be symptoms of depression. A literal interpretation of ‘do you hear voices’ might be misconstrued as being indicative of psychosis… In my opinion, this is an essential resource for not only the person affected but also the people in their lives, including mental health clinicians.”

Dr Wenn Lawson, PhD, CPsychol, lecturer, and author of Older Adults and Autism Spectrum Conditions, has this to say about the book:

‘This book is more than just another resource tool for those of us living with an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC). It is a guide book for all those bumps in the road that offer a variety of options and confuse us or catch us unawares. It takes our mental health threats and draws a map to aid navigation around or through these. Its clear and concise explanations plus practical application make it a must have for anyone living with and supporting ASC individuals.”

The book focuses on the specific difficulties that can arise for people on the autism spectrum who may also experience a mental illness. The book includes information on common mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, as well as strategies for improving sleep patterns and mindfulness. Providing guidance on the benefits and drawbacks of therapy pets, medication, and psychotherapy, the authors offer balanced perspectives on treatment options and introduce self-help strategies tailored to meet your needs and improve your mental wellbeing. A number of short personal narratives from people on the autism spectrum and mental health issues illustrate the text.

In Australia and New Zealand you can pre-order the book form Footprint Books. It is also available on many online stores including –

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