Crimson Publishers Publish With Us Reprints e-Books Video articles

Full Text

Psychology and Psychotherapy: Research Studys

Mental Health Literacy in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Hirokazu Osada*

Department of Clinical Psychology, Teikyo heisei University, Japan

*Corresponding author: Hirokazu Osada, Department of Clinical Psychology, Teikyo heisei University, Japan

Submission: May 08, 2023Published: May 15, 2023

DOI: 10.31031/PPRS.2023.06.000651

ISSN 2639-0612
Volume7 Issue1


Mental Health Literacy (MHL) refers to the knowledge and understanding of mental health conditions, their risk factors, and how to access appropriate treatment and support [1]. It also involves the ability to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness in oneself and others, and to reduce stigma and discrimination towards people with mental health conditions. Having a good MHL is important because it can help individuals make informed decisions about their own mental health and seek help when needed. It can also help reduce the negative attitudes and stereotypes towards mental illness that can prevent individuals from seeking help and accessing appropriate treatment. Some ways to improve MHL include educating oneself about mental health conditions, talking openly about mental health with others, and seeking professional help if needed. Additionally, organizations and communities can work to promote MHL through awareness campaigns, education and training programs, and by creating supportive environments for those with mental health conditions.

Neurodevelopmental Disorders (NDDs) are a group of conditions that affect the development and function of the brain and nervous system [2]. These disorders typically begin in childhood and can have a significant impact on an individual’s ability to learn, communicate and interact with others. These conditions can vary widely in their severity and symptoms. NDDs are believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, such as prenatal exposure to toxins or infections, complications during birth, or early childhood trauma. While there is no cure for these disorders, early identification and intervention can help individuals manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Treatment for neurodevelopmental disorders typically involves a combination of therapies, such as behavioral therapy, medication, and educational interventions. NDDs can present unique challenges when it comes to MHL.

MHL in ASD is crucial for improving outcomes for individuals with this condition. ASD affects communication, social interaction, and behavior. It is estimated that approximately 1 in 36 children in the United States are diagnosed with ASD [3]. One challenge with MHL in ASD is that the symptoms can be difficult to recognize and diagnose, especially in mild cases or in individuals who have learned to camouflage their symptoms. Some common symptoms of ASD include [4]:
A. Difficulty with social interaction and communication
B. Restricted interests and repetitive behaviors
C. Sensory sensitivities
D. Difficulty with change or transitions
E. Difficulty with executive functioning

Improving MHL in ASD involves educating healthcare professionals, educators, and the general public about the symptoms and diagnosis of ASD, as well as available treatments and interventions [5]. It is important to recognize that ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder and not a behavioral problem, and to promote understanding and acceptance of individuals with ASD. Some ways to improve MHL in ASD include:
a) Increasing awareness and understanding of ASD through public education campaigns and training for healthcare professionals and educators.
b) Promoting early screening and diagnosis of ASD, which can lead to earlier intervention and improved outcomes.
c) Encouraging the use of evidence-based treatments, such as behavioral interventions and medications when appropriate.
d) Promoting acceptance and understanding of individuals with ASD and working to reduce stigma and discrimination.

Encouraging research into the causes of ASD and the development of new treatments and interventions.

Improving MHL in ASD can also lead to better outcomes for individuals with this condition and their families and help to reduce the stigma and discrimination that can be associated with ASD [6].


This paper was funded by a Senshu University research grant in 2018 and is part of a project entitled “International comparison on relationship of neurodevelopmental disorders, pathological internet use, and callous-unemotional traits”.


  1. Jorm AF (2012) Mental health literacy: Empowering the community to take action for better mental health. American Psychologist 67(3): 231-243.
  2. Thapar A, Cooper M, Rutter M (2017) Neurodevelopmental disorders. The Lancet Psychiatry 4(4): 339-346.
  3. Maenner MJ, Warren Z, Williams AR, Amoakohene E, Bakian AV, et al. (2023). Prevalence and characteristics of autism spectrum disorder among children aged 8 years: Autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, 11 sites, United States, 2020. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 72(2): 1-14.
  4. Goldstein S, Ozonoff S (2018) Assessment of autism spectrum disorder, (2nd edn), Guilford Publications, New York, USA, p. 494.
  5. Cotter PD, Storni C, De Benedictis CA (2021) Autism spectrum disorders: Diagnosis and treatment. Exon Publications, Australia, pp. 17-32.
  6. Mitter N, Ali A, Scior K (2019) Stigma experienced by families of individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism: A systematic review. Research in Developmental Disabilities 89: 10-21.

© 2023 Hirokazu Osada, This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and build upon your work non-commercially.