On 30 November, Kevan spoke in a House of Commons debate on mental health and suicide within the autism community.

Kevan welcomed the debate, having recently raised with the Health Secretary and Prime Minister the issue of waiting times for autism diagnosis in North Durham.

During the debate Kevan said:

“In Durham, we currently have a two-year waiting list for autism diagnosis. I have tried to get to the bottom of why that is. It is only when you meet some of the parents of the young people that you see what a tragedy it is.

“The pressure on those families is so great that I suspect some are developing mental health issues. I am really concerned about the lost opportunity for those children, because everyone only gets one chance at education, and there are cases where children have been out of school for nearly a year, waiting for diagnosis.

“I am aware, as I think we all are, of the pressures that there are on child and adolescent mental health services and social services, but we must try to streamline the pathway to early diagnosis.”

To read all of Kevan’s speech, please click on the following link: