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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

To Suze

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I would like the opportunity to respond to your reply, and that is the purpose of this thread. I have not done so in private because I feel that I have the right to be able to respond and for people to see my response.


I have very strong feelings about the issues I raised, I realise that within the way I laid out my post that I criticised the rules, I did not do so to purely slam rules per se. I appreciate that there are occasions where rules exist for reasons - and I had got to a point personally where I felt that I had to discuss the issues that I raised - that happen to fall directly within those rules. It is a very fine line between those two factors, and the only way I felt I could approach it was in the way that I did, I feel it would have served no purpose to put up a post about each topic and potentially incite responses, not just from the moderating team or the admin team, but also the other members of this forum.


You are correct, the actual percentage of posts that are locked, deleted or indeed warnings meted out is not a very high one, and I have looked in on other forums that exist for such issues as I raised and I do not deny that this one is very calm in comparison. However, I see with there are reasons people do not feel they can broach such topics, or talk freely here even though they are clearly elements of a deep gravity in many people’s lives. When I say discuss, I mean in productive ways – some of those topics are not easy to talk about and it is my opinion that there are people who are members of this forum who would like to talk about those things. It is difficult, as certain topics do have a tendency to spiral out of control as obviously everyone is free to comment and sometimes the initial topic does go awry somewhat.


I also appreciate that there is a massive difference between a topic that is obscene and completely inappropriate and one which is an adult discussion within a mature setting for the purposes of self learning, self awareness, sharing experiences and understanding, and this is why an adult section of the forum is a worthy consideration.


I have felt for some time that certain issues are avoided and I wanted to express my opinion on that and I of course welcomed responses. I acknowledge that my post was blunt and to the point, and I asked the questions I needed to ask, while also letting everyone know where I stand on the issues I raised there. These issues are ones that really are important to me, as someone with AS.


A difficulty with joining other sites or forums about those specific issues is that they are largely made up of – I don’t like this term but I’m going to have to use it – ‘NT’ people, and as you have pointed out, those places are not friendly and welcoming, they are not safe for those of us on the spectrum who are vulnerable and they are a veritable minefield for someone on the spectrum to navigate.


Upon reflection I see that it might have potentially been more constructive if I had spoken as I am now, at the time I wrote my post I felt that I was compromising on my beliefs, morals, values, opinions and integrity in keeping quiet about my concerns on the issues I raised, and I had reached a point where I felt I had to speak about it - and that set the tone for me on subjects that are emotive and challenging.


My post was intended to broach subjects that I do have concerns about and because I consider some of the issues I raised do relate to people on the spectrum (including people who know or are related to people on the spectrum with such issues), I wished to know if there was any leeway on those rules, including the potential for an ‘adult only’ section, not only because all this was my opinion, and I was speaking for myself , but also because I have observed others say that these issues are factors in their lives and I have been told the same, considering that I believed that it was well-worth asking and I feel that you and Simon have been very clear in your responses to my query.





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