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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

Bank Holiday Blues?

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Bank holiday can be a very annoying time for individuals living with an ASD. Why does everything have to randomly change again so soon after Easter???


No matter how hard it gets for you this weekend, please remember there is always help and support out there for you.


Books are available via Jessica Kingsley publications. Tony Attwood's book is a must. Anything linked to Simon Baron-Cohen and Uta Frith. I spent a day with Simon and my ASD son last year - he's a wonderful person. Local authorities are pretty poor on the whole, but if you're lucky, you may be living in an area with excellent resources. Relate counselling is good IF you get someone who really understands ASD. My friend Chris runs Positive About Autism - check out the website. Autism West Midlands are a wonderful bunch, no matter where you live! If you're a partner of someone with an ASD, remember they are NOT an alien! You need to support them and gently translate the peculiarities of the world around them - let's face it neurotypicals, the rules are actually nuts!


I can't even begin to tell you about my 25 year journey. Many many people have told me to write a book - well maybe if I had the time! What I can tell you is that there is always life; and there is always love. Gently take the ASD person you know, and love, into the world to a place of space and quiet, and reassure them that you will be there for them. They maybe can't show you their emotion, but boy do they have those emotions. Some can't cry; some can't even work out what they are actually feeling (alexithymia). Let them wow you with their incredible talents; their wonderful depth of integritiy; the beautifulness of their mind, the trust and loyalty - which can be thrown back at them when others don't understand.


Now - for a moment: imagine you're dropped into the middle of a Japanese city with no means of communication: huge; loud; bright lights; no languages you remotely understand; customs that seem strange and alien to you; people ignoring your confusion, and tutting and raising their eyebrows as you clumsily flout their social and civic rules. After several hours, you are exhausted and disorientated. You return to your hotel room alone; you can't make anyone understand you. You turn on the TV; nothing makes sense apart from the images. After 48 hours, you are bursting with frustration, fear and confusion, and shout at the receptionist - who calls the police. You draw a picture for the officers of you, the UK, and a phone. They all chatter in a bizarre language over your head - then finally it dawns on them. One of them turns and smiles at you and says in broken English - 'Don't worry, it's all ok, I speak your language and will translate it all for you - just trust me and it will be ok....I think we could learn so much from each other here...'.


You and your loved one need to trust each other....it's not one better than the other...it's both family members re-finding the respect and love they have for each other. If you're brave enough to even start this journey, then you will find more happiness than you could ever imagine. You are very lucky to have a person living with ASD in your life...you just don't know it yet.


I will soon be starting a blog about my experiences with the aim of supporting and encouraging everyone on this journey - so watch this space!

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Autism West Midlands are a wonderful bunch, no matter where you live!


Too bad their remit doesn't include Warwickshire.

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Hello all members We would like to announce a members only event at Fimber Halt on the upcoming bank holiday Monday 25th August at 2pm until around 5pm. This invitation includes partners / friends of members.


There will be a BBQ as well as a opportunity for you to see in person what developments have been made on site.


Non-members are welcome if you would like to join on the day

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