A GOOSTREY woman with autism is leading a national campaign to change the public perception of mental health.

Megan Hughes, 26, is working with a team of 40 to raise awareness of the condition, and recently contributed to a report revealing that four out of five young people with autism have suffered mental health issues.

Research was supported by the charity Ambitious About Autism, of which Megan is a patron, and undertaken by the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE).

Megan said: “I’m so proud to have been a part of this work, it’s already making a huge difference.

"It’s great that people are beginning to understand that autistic people don’t have to be unwell, that like everyone else we can and should seek help - but that when we do people must listen.

“Our toolkit is available to all GPs as part of their online autism resources, which is a pretty big thing already.

Only four per cent of those surveyed were extremely confident in knowing who to ask for help when experiencing mental health difficulties.

Key points raised include offering support to help people identify and communicate their feelings, reducing stigma by increasing knowledge of autism, and ensuring access to support.