The health minister says the current wait time for a mental health service in the island is around 35 weeks.

Lawrie Hooper was asked what support Manx Care can offer to people with suspected neurodiverse conditions in the House of Keys.

Neurodiverse conditions include autism, ADHD, down syndrome, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, dyslexia, dyspraxia, mental health conditions like bipolar disorder and many more.

People in the island with these conditions are treated by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

Mr Hooper explained that neurodiverse conditions are ‘broad and common’, with 15% of the population being neurodivergent.

He said: ‘Access to services for adults with suspected ADHD and autism has historically been inconsistent than that afforded to children and young people.

‘This gap in provision is currently being addressed however through broader pathway redesign.’

He added: ‘As is universally the case with all health conditions, early identification and prompt access to evidence-based treatment is strongly associated with best outcomes.

‘Whilst access to a consistent pathway for adults is paramount, the best outcomes will undoubtedly be achieved through identification, support and treatment during a child’s formative years.

‘The Thrive model offers a new approach to the delivery of a young person’s mental health services on the Isle of Man and is considered to enable individuals with neurodiverse conditions to realise their full potential.’

The Thrive framework is needs-led and aims to establish an integrated, multi-agency network that will support the mental health and wellbeing needs of children, young people up to the age of 25 and the adults who look after them.

It was first implemented within the Department of Health and Social Care last year. It’s also in the process of developing an autism strategy, to be published July 2023.