I am a next of kin and carer for a friend with ASD. I’ve just had a harrowing month of watching the NHS fail her over and over! She has been experiencing meltdowns for months due to a extremely stressful family situation. The support she gets is all from mental health Services and they believe she has EUPD and have not referred her for support re her autism. They have completely ignored it. The consequences of this is she gets completely inappropriate support. They see her irritation and agitation as behaviour she needs to stop rather than seeing as a result of her ASD. So hence recently she had her main support more than halved as punishment for a period of what I can clearly see was meltdowns not her being bad! This major cut in her support devastated her and led to her feeling depressed.
Add to this her psychiatrist who keeps cutting her antipsychotic tablet and making her come off cold turkey! Her anxiety skyrocketed! She then starts drinking!
So all of this is happening and she then gets really bad news about a family member who also has ASD. The consequence is total overload and she becomes suicidal and experiences hallucinations as well. She started self harming and was then for 2 weeks admitted and discharged over and over- one team admitting her and then another saying she had capacity and had to be discharged! There was even inconsistency between staff in the psychiatric unit. She attempted suicide twice in there and was still discharged!
She felt unsafe so committed a criminal offence by making threats so she would get arrested. She’s now serving a 10 week prison sentence! This should never have happened!
I am in the process of filing a complaint through Patient Liaison against the local Nhs trust for the failings right through the services from the CMHT to the psychiatric unit. The police however were amazing! They had more understanding, compassion and sensitivity to my friends condition than all the psychiatric staff put together.
I know my friend can’t be the only person with ASD who’s experienced such injustice and such dreadful treatment. I am doing all I can to get more support in place for her and writing letters regarding her need for admission into a clinic that specialises in women with ASD. I’m also trying to clear up the absolute mess her useless social worker has neglected. She’s let my friend accumulate £1400 worth of debt to the care agency who go in each day and basically do the least possible and mainly seem to just check she’s taken her meds but charge her £50 p/w.
Im so angry still.
Hi, I had to respond to you...I wept reading your friends story....I am an autistic adult and I was repeatedly failed by the mental health services...I am traumatised to this day by the neglect and total ignorance regarding my struggles. There is no help for autistic adults in Norfolk at all. I was failed over and over and nearly lost my life. I understand how you feel. I am still fighting for support but to this day my difficulties as an autistic person are ignored. I feel like we are living in the dark ages still. The only people who understand what it is like are us autistics ourselves or loved ones and friends who spend a lot of time with us. Sorry for the rant. You are not alone.
Thank you. I am very concerned about her release. I will do all I can and have decided to do some training in order to understand even more. I’m so sorry for your struggles and I’ll be thinking of you.
How do you get a ten week sentence for making threats? Was it her first offence?
A heart-rending story. Much as I support the NHS in principle and practice, I've also suffered at the hands of mental health services. Fobbed off and ignored, or farmed out to substance misuse services which I didn't actually need. In fact, attendance at those services actually turned me into a substance abuser! Time and again, they either failed to recognise my ASC behaviour traits, or dismissed them out of hand. Following a suicide attempt once, I was discharged from hospital - miles from home with no money - and told to explain my situation to a train guard, so that I could get a train home at least. MH is the poor relation of the NHS, and it's getting poorer.
Dear NAS36335, ,
You may like to contact our Autism Helpline team who can provide you with information and advice in regards to your friend. You can call them on 0808 800 4104 (Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm, Friday 9am to 3pm).Please note that the Helpline is experiencing a high volume of calls and it may take a couple of attempts before you get through to speak to an advisor.
Please see the following link for further information: