This synthesis of recent mental health services research with autistic individuals presents significant advances, current gaps, and recommendations for improving mental healthcare for this population.
Recent advances include improved understanding of co-occurring mental health conditions among autistic individuals, a growing evidence base for interventions to address them, the development and implementation of new service models to support mental health for this population, and a substantial increase in mental health services and implementation research focused on autism. Ongoing challenges include a lack of mental health interventions designed for community implementation with autistic individuals, limited workforce capacity, complex and disconnected service systems, and racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in accessibility and quality of mental health services. Despite the advances in our understanding of mental health needs and mental health services for autistic individuals, several critical gaps remain. We encourage future efforts to develop and test interventions that can be used in community settings, train and incentivize the workforce to provide them, realign policies and funding with best practice, and embrace an equity-focused approach to autism research and care.

© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.