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Embracing Complexity: Towards New Approaches for Supporting People with Neurodevelopmental Conditions

by JPA Health for Autistica

Summary of work

People who think and see the world differently have the potential to bring huge value and diversity of thinking to society, but also face a complex and overlapping set of challenges. Many people often have more than one neurodevelopmental or mental health condition (NDC), yet we still live in a system set up to look at one at a time.

JPA Health Communications supported the Embracing Complexity Coalition, led by Autistica, to launch a campaign set out to unite stakeholders and create a joined-up system of support to create an inclusive society where people with NDCs can reach their full potential. During challenging times, with intense Brexit discussions and a leadership contest on the horizon, the team secured Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health, to launch the campaign in Parliament. In addition, stakeholders from across parties, councils, the Royal Colleges and charities were in attendance.

In less than a year, the ‘Embracing Complexity Coalition’ has grown to over 50 charities, published two reports, initiated over £600,000 in research, engaged senior leaders of the NHS and government has announced a new neurodiversity unit that sits across health, justice and education, a key call to action of the coalition.

Judges’ comments

This project from JPA Health was a breath of fresh air. It was big hitting from the start, with the involvement of the health secretary, showing how smaller organisations can punch above their weight when they collaborate in a highly organised and meaningful way. It was a great achievement to get the collaboration in place, with such clear direction, informed by the people they represent. They put people before politics and it clearly served a greater good. The neurodiversity unit is a demonstration of lasting output.