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      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   06/04/2017

      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   Depression and other mental health difficulties are common amongst people on the autistic spectrum and their carers.   People who are affected by general mental health difficulties are encouraged to receive and share information, support and advice with other forum members, though it is important to point out that this exchange of information is generally based on personal experience and opinions, and is not a substitute for professional medical help.   There is a list of sources of mental health support here: <a href="http://www.asd-forum.org.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=18801" target="_blank">Mental Health Resources link</a>   People may experience a more serious crisis with their mental health and need urgent medical assistance and advice. However well intentioned, this is not an area of support that the forum can or should be attempting to offer and we would urge members who are feeling at risk of self-harm or suicide to contact either their own GP/health centre, or if out of hours contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or to call emergency services 999.   We want to reassure members that they have our full support in offering and seeking advice and information on general mental health issues. Members asking for information in order to help a person in their care are seeking to empower both themselves and those they represent, and we would naturally welcome any such dialogue on the forum.   However, any posts which are deemed to contain inference of personal intent to self-harm and/or suicide will be removed from the forum and that person will be contacted via the pm system with advice on where to seek appropriate help.   In addition to the post being removed, if a forum member is deemed to indicate an immediate risk to themselves, and are unable to be contacted via the pm system, the moderating team will take steps to ensure that person's safety. This may involve breaking previous confidentiality agreements and/or contacting the emergency services on that person's behalf.   Sometimes posts referring to self-harm do not indicate an immediate risk, but they may contain material which others find inappropriate or distressing. This type of post will also be removed from the public forum at the moderator's/administrator's discretion, considering the forum user base as a whole.   If any member receives a PM indicating an immediate risk and is not in a position (or does not want) to intervene, they should forward the PM to the moderating team, who will deal with the disclosure in accordance with the above guidelines.   We trust all members will appreciate the reasoning behind these guidelines, and our intention to urge any member struggling with suicidal feelings to seek and receive approproiate support from trained and experienced professional resources.   The forum guidelines have been updated to reflect the above.   Regards,   The mod/admin team

Dr Ciaran Kelly

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About Dr Ciaran Kelly

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    Norfolk Broads
  1. Any advice about Sertraline

    Sertraline is probably the best medication available as first line drug treatment for severe anxiety in terms of the evidence from many different scientific trials - it has a lower rate of problematic side-effects and is usually very well tolerated. It also has better success rates than most other medications particularly if there is also associated low mood or OCD. But every child is unique and success is never guaranteed. It is usual to start at a low dose such as 25 or 50mg then for this to be increased after review. Some mild initial nausea is very common and usually short lasting - typically a few days. It may take about 2-3 weeks before any real benefit is seen. But as I say every person is different and I have sometimes seen dramatic improvements within a week. Only very rarely are side-effects unmanageable and there is no way of predicting in advance the few individuals who experience severe gastritis, or lethargy/fatigue , or deterioration of mood. But don't give up other effective medications can also be used. Other treatable anxiety provoking issues may respond to OT involvement and management of sensory issues (sensitivities to noise, lights, smells, fabrics, personal space, seating arrangements etc). DR Ciaran Kelly, Independent Child Psychiatrist, Romsey.