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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

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  1. We've been researching this topic for some time. It's clear many ASpies would choose self-employment if they could; it also goes without saying that there are many areas of running a business that would be difficult; especially the social interaction, marketing, sales and PR. With two ASpies in the family, we've struggled alongside them to find and maintain meaningful employment. We've been stressed and frustrated by the lack of support available for people wanting to run their own businesses. As non-AS family members, we've had our own working lives restricted as we stagger work commitments with caring for our children. Our sons are enterprising, resilient and capable; It's the social barriers that let them down. Yes there are programmes in place training companies to be more AS-friendly, but just like in schools, the environment, the lighting, the noise and the people can't all be changed to help our ASpies. When it comes to self employment, the ASpies have to sell themselves, first, when trying to get help setting up their business, and again when trying to reach their market audience. So what if we take charge of things ourselves? Build a business network made up of ASpies who make and produce the goods, and non-ASpies who market, sell, and handle the customer-care side? Well we've gone ahead and done it! We've invested every penny of our own money; created the Social Enterprise, bought and furnished its first centre and set up business partnerships; now 4 Square Pegs is open for membership. We don't have all the answers: that's kind of the point. We wanted to create an enterprise where every member has their say and the business model is adapted to suit the members rather than trying to make them fit into a set programme of support. We will no doubt get critics, but the point is, at 4 Square Pegs we're DOING something to make a change. There's more going on at 4 Square Pegs than we can explain here, so come and find out what we're doing and how we're doing it at http://www.4squarepegs.co.uk Whether you join us as a member or support us as an investor, you'll be helping to change the futures of hundreds of ASpies in the UK and presenting supported self-employment as a viable option for work choices. 4 Square Pegs - we're making square holes!
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