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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
TheNeil

EEEKKK - Now I've Gone and Done It

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TheNeil   

My never ending battle with the powers-that-be (or 'management' as they're more commonly known) took another twist today. At my annual review I'd complained that nobody ever told me what was happening about my AS in the company's eyes, who knew, what was being said etc.

 

So my boss had said that I should get some a couple of web site addresses to him and they'd look into it again. "<insert rude word here> to that" I thought and got my sorry self organised, tracked down some info, ordered it and dumped it on his desk (i.e. eliminate any excuse for not doing it himself). Amazingly he actually read it and I think a little light bulb may have switched on above his head. Next thing I know he arranges a meeting for him, me the Head of Department (HoD) to sit down and go through what the company can do for me :blink:

 

So I had a think, wrote down some things that I felt I could do with help with (and that were practical)(so asking to have four days off each week sadly went out of the window). I've just got out of the meeting and the HoD actually seemed to listen for once (once you got past the usual managerial waffle of course) and we agreed that I should 'go public' (bwuhahahaha, brace yourself world)

 

This is fine but the HoD didn't want to simply send an email to everyone (my prefered option of course) and instead wanted to adopt a more 'personable' appraoch. Initially he wanted to have my 'news' spread via world of mouth which made me wonder whether he's actually deaf or just brain dead (I had just spent 45 minutes explaining that I have a communication problem, find groups difficult and that it's near impossible for me to go up to people and start talking at them). I was worried that the 'facts' might get 'modified' (think Chinese Whispers magnified one million times) but I could see where he was coming from

 

The solution (suggested by my good self) was to use the company's quaterly newsletter but, rather than write a simple article, the HoD wants to get one of the press/PR people to 'interview' me, ask the 'relevant' questions (possibly agreed in advance) that should, hopefully, explain in layman's terms just how much of a pain-in-the-ass I really am and what effect AS is going to have on everyone else (i.e. zero). The resultant 'interview' then gets printed

 

At first I was excited (hey, people are starting to do something). Now I'm a bit scared (what if I clam up or come across as a simpleton?)(and that's 'simpleton' as in more 'simpleton' than normal). Oh God, what if it all goes wrong? Breathe, breathe, breathe... :hypno:

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aro   

:D You'll be just fine, I'm sure you'll have a crib sheet ready which you can always hurl at the interviewer and run hell for leather out off there :lol: seriously, you're much stronger than you think, look at the changes in your life recently, yet you still can make us laugh! :notworthy:

Hope this makes things at work more comfortable for you, may even be the start of new friendships!

A x

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Hi TN,

 

Could your interviewer perhaps give you a copy of the questions so that u could write your answers in advance and then perhaps have an informal chat about the Qs and As. That way you know that you will have answered in the way that does you justice..........and he/she also gets to meet you and get an idea of what it is like for you to converse with people.

 

Its great news that the company are listening. I hope it makes life easier for you.

 

OOPs Ive just read Aro's post. Is that what a crib sheet is? And she's right you will be fine and Im sure your unique sense of humour will come through :D

 

SV

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cmuir   

Hi

 

You're bound to feel apprehensive. What you're increasing awareness and understanding of ASDs and if that means being in the spotlight for a little while, then you go for it!

 

There have been occasions when I've felt it necessary to tell people about my son having AS. As a result, I've met some people who ARE understanding, some who APPEAR understanding and others who will never understand and NEVER TRY TO. It's a sad fact of life. But I really do think that if parents like me, people like yourself make others aware, then that can only be a good thing.

 

Hopefully life will be made a little easier for you at work from now on!

 

Best wishes

 

Caroline.

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Emum   

Don't panic - its a newsletter not a live video performance!

 

Good idea to ask for the questions in advance and to prepare for them. Make sure they set aside enough time for the interview and ask to see a draft of the article before it is published in the newsletter. That way if there is anything which you wish you hadn't said or had said better, or anything which the interviewer has just completely messed up, you can pick it up and have it corrected before it gets published. The big celebs do this all the time with newspaper articles - its called copy approval - and it sounds like the company is keen to do right by you so there is absolutely no reason why they wouldn't agree to this. If they don't want to though, feel free to PM me and I will give you half a dozen legal reasons why they must! I know you feel this isn't your forte, but you will be fine really - if you could handle the appraisal meeting with your HoD, an interview with the personnel person lumbered with writing the newsletter will be child's play. Good luck!

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I think Emum and others have said it all, so I'm just repeating what they've said, but as a journalist myself I feel I have to have my say!

 

Definitely ask for a list of questions first; if they're not sure what to ask, provide them with a list of questions so that you're both prepared. Before the interview takes place, ask to see a copy of the article BEFORE it goes to press so that you can make any corrections. That should be very easily arranged, seeing as the article's for the in-house newsletter. And if you're unhappy with anything it, say so and offer alternatives. And if the article really doesn't work out at all then there seems no reason why you shouldn't be able to veto it totally, if necessary.

 

I reckon you've done the hardest bit already, ie going through your meeting with your head of department. If he's a decent bloke, perhaps he could add a bit on the article saying what a superstar you are and a definite asset to the team?? So long as it's not patronising or condescending etc.

 

Anyway, hope it goes well.

 

all the best,

Lizzie

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Tez   

I think Emum, BusyLizzie100 and others have said it all, but just wanted to wish you good luck and if when you see the copy for approval you're not happy and you can't the adjustments you want, just veto it; after all the intention is to help you, not make matters worse. Hopefully it will be the turning point you're looking for and will bring about a little more understanding at work. Good luck.

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Elanor   

Good luck with the interview - we have PR person at my firm, and he is totally great at getting information out of people, and setting it out in a good story. Your PR person won't let you clam up - she/he'll get you to relax, it won't be Mastermind.

 

I think you've made a great move with work - they haven't taken your needs seriously so far, and you might find things easier if you're working with people who understand you just a bit more. Perhaps you HoD heard about the DDA?

 

Elanor

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Hi TN

 

As a former news reporter and now currently a press officer for a national firm I would agree with Bizzie's comments. Because it's an in-house newsletter you'll have no problem getting to read the article before it's published and no problem asking for a list of questions - although be prepared that the PR may wish to elaborate depending on the answers to the questions.

 

Any PR worth their salt will have read up on your condition before interviewing you so should have some idea of your moods and feelings.

 

One more thing .... they'll need a nice photo of you beside your computer so you can be doubly famous! :bancomp:

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Great idea, I hope this helps you out long term.

 

I also hope that you don't meet any unneccesary prejudice once things are all out in the open. Maybe you could say how you want to be treated and spoken to .. otherwise you might find that some people just ignore you rather than speak to you because they find things a bit 'awkward' or feel that they may be approaching you in the wrong way.

 

Remember that first and foremost you are a person, being an Aspie is just part of that. It is important for other people to realise that too.

 

I think a lighthearted more fun approach would work better than a more matter of fact detailed description. I am sure you will be fine at the interview - you know yourself better than anyone else afterall.

 

Looks like your Boss has been given all the relevant information now and it has registered with him - which is great. Well done for being bold enough to take a stand.

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TheNeil   

Well it's all scheduled for Friday morning so I spent an hour this afternoon coming up with a set of questions that I felt would be useful (What is AS? How does it affect daily life? Why aren't I like Dustin Hoffman (in Rain Main)? How can people help? Am I now officially insane? (Answer: Yes...but not because of the AS :D) etc. etc. etc.)

 

Sent that lot off this afternoon with an indication of what my answers are going to be based around (figured that this would give the PR guy a chance to prepare follow up questions and wouldn;t leave me flumoxed). I've also been assured that I'll get to proof read the final article before it's published

 

I just hope that this works out although I am prepared for some 'backlash', people giving me a wide berth etc. (and if they do give me a wide berth then that's their decision and problem, not mine). IF people are at the very least aware of the 'problem' and know that me ignoring them isn't done out of malice or nastiness then I'll consider it a success

 

Now just got to get some sleep in the next two days (which won't be easy as I've now gone hyper :hypno:)

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