Urgent help please (autism / traumatic event)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Emhillo, 10 May 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Emhillo

    Emhillo New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    10 May 2015
    Hi All,

    I am here because I am desperate and need advice. Last Friday, May 1st, my 20 year old autistic brother witnessed a suicide on the train line near to where we live. Since this has happened he has been found wandering near the place where it happened and as the days have gone by it seems to be affecting him more and more. It has completely devastated me that so far he has received zero help or support from the emergency services. The British transport police keep cancelling appointments to take his statement which is making my brother even more anxious, especially as autism can make processing information extremely difficult.
    I am hoping that somebody here can tell me what I can do to get my brother the aftercare he needs because as he wasn't a witness to a crime the police wont do anything at all. The poor kid tried to talk the girl out of what she was doing, saw her get hit by the train and could see her dead afterwards, I can't even begin to comprehend how he (and all the other people who were there) must be feeling right now.
    Please help!
    Emily x
     
  2. Qwerty133

    Qwerty133 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,686
    Joined:
    7 Oct 2012
    Location:
    Leicester/Sheffield
    Autism is a wide spectrum, so while I don't know the specifics of your brothers case, I'd urge you to try and keep him away from the area as much as possible, as autistic people often find it very difficult to explain how they are feeling, and may copy others. Again depending on the level of severity, someone should talk to him about how it's normal to feel down after witnessing a suicide, and that its OK to talk about these feeling to others.
    I'm sure that other much more knowledgable members, who actually have an idea as to what external support is available will be along shortly but try not to worry too much in the meantime especially if you are around your brother as autistic people often pick up signs of stress and may make them feel even worse about the situation.
     
  3. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    21,451
    Joined:
    4 Feb 2010
    Make an appointment with the GP immediately, who should be able to make the necessary referral to a mental health professional as appropriate. I am not sure this is something a non-professional would be able to resolve by him-/herself.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Many GP's surgeries now have some appointments reserved for "same-day release" so if you ring the first thing they open in the morning, he could be seen on the same day.
     
  4. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

    Messages:
    2,860
    Joined:
    3 Mar 2014
    Location:
    Merseyside
    I have experience of dealing with Autism and Aspergers with a family member and some friends. This is what I would personally do if I was in your situation: -

    1. It is not acceptable that the BTP are cancelling appointments. Remembering that no one is under any duty to help the police. I would simply cancel giving the statement all together. This will take away the stress of him having to speak to them. There is nothing they can do about this, nor must you give them a reason. You could simply say that too much time as passed now and you are not prepared to drag this on any longer.

    2. In the case of my family member, they are under the care of a Consultant for their autism so I would speak to them. If this does not apply to you then a visit to the GP and a referal for some counselling or CBT might help.

    3. I would certainly keep him away from the site it occured as this will be very distressing.

    4. I'd encourage him to cry and let it all out of his system and talk about what he saw and how he feels. I would tell him that the girl is not in pain anymore.

    Do feel free to PM me on here for more detailed advise and I might be able to go in further detail of how I've dealt with hard situations with those with AS or autism myself.

    Hope that helps!
     
  5. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

    Messages:
    5,758
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2008
    Location:
    Hatfield or Surrey
    Hi Emily,

    I appreciate the issues you have raised, but unfortunately the emergency services do not provide ongoing care. The BTP may be able to refer him to a specialist but I think that would be unlikely.

    If at any time you think that he is in a condition where he might be a risk to himself then you need to seek help immediately. If not, then he needs to go and see his GP who will be able to signpost him to an appropriate community service.
     
  6. Qwerty133

    Qwerty133 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,686
    Joined:
    7 Oct 2012
    Location:
    Leicester/Sheffield
    But please do not force him to say anything, as this could just make him more distressed, and although he's autistic he should still be treated like a human being, and like all human beings, different people with autism deal with things in different ways.
     
  7. tsr

    tsr Established Member

    Messages:
    6,167
    Joined:
    15 Nov 2011
    Location:
    Ballast
    It may be worth contacting the train operator which was involved in the incident. I cannot 100% promise they can help, but as they will almost certainly have procedures for caring for any passengers who come to witness such an incident, they may also be able to give you some assistance. It's worth a try.

    I am also surprised nobody has mentioned Samaritans. I am sure they might be able to talk to your brother and find some way of helping out. They are not just for people who might feel suicidal themselves.

    I know this is obviously distressing for you and you really do have a lot of respect from me for trying to sort this out as quickly and effectively as possible, as well as a huge amount of sympathy. I am fortunate never to have seen something like this happen, but I have been involved in near-misses and also dealing with the connected "fallout", and such incidents are always tricky. All the best to you!
     
  8. Elecman

    Elecman Established Member

    Messages:
    1,088
    Joined:
    31 Dec 2013
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Emily, if you consider him at serious risk of trying to copy the girls actions then take him to the nearest A&E unit who will arrange an immediate consultation with a mental health specialist.
     
  9. plymothian

    plymothian Member

    Messages:
    547
    Joined:
    26 Sep 2010
    Location:
    Plymouth
    FGW recommend The Samaritans for passengers who have been affected by fatalities.
     
  10. Emhillo

    Emhillo New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    10 May 2015
    Thanks everyone.
    Obviously we've spent forever with my brother being the way he is and understand his condition thoroughly, I just worry for how he may process this all, we all deal with death in different ways and this is something I have no idea about, seeing somebody commit suicide must be extremely traumatic.
    My brother is very able and independent, he works as a mechanic so we can't physically stop him going where he wants but we have expressed our concern for him being there, he said he wanted to make sense of everything and keep what happened 'fresh' for the police. As my mum is his main caregiver I will suggest that she tells BTP that she is no longer willing to let him give a statement because it is just prolonging everything.
    I think the GP will be next port of call tomorrow, it's unbelievable that there are no provisions in place for helping witnesses of suicide! I'm willing to pay for private care if need be, do you think the Samaritans will have contact numbers for the right kind of counsellor he may need?
    Thank you again everybody, you're extremely supporting :)
     
    Last edited: 10 May 2015
  11. tony_mac

    tony_mac Established Member

    Messages:
    3,255
    Joined:
    25 Feb 2009
    Location:
    Liverpool
  12. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

    Messages:
    7,291
    Joined:
    21 Dec 2007
    Location:
    Newcastle (unless I'm out)
    Everyone is different. So, there cannot be a single answer to your question which would always apply to anyone in your situation. But, I do agree with the general advice above that you should speak with your / your brother's GP as soon as possible.
    I also agree that many branches of the Samaritans have a broad range of knowledge and experience to draw on from this complex area, and I would expect them to be able to identify someone locally who can give appropriate, informed and constructive advice, as well as sympathy.

    I can barely begin to imagine the internal stresses this incident has created, but I do know that a range of support, plus an understanding of the impact of the experience, is available, and that in many parts of the UK, the Smaritans will be well placed to make an introduction.

    There will also be other counsellors, working with young people in distress, some working for University student support services, or charities such as Dr Barnardos. You should be able to track them down with just a few phone calls.
     
  13. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

    Messages:
    15,679
    Joined:
    12 Oct 2010
    Location:
    Work - Fenny Stratford(MK) Home - Darlington
    Ring the Samaritans now: 08457 90 90 90

    They will listen and will "sign post" you towards other agencies that can help. You can also talk to them about your concerns. Then get an appointment with the doctors.

    Ring BTP, tell them the situation and tell them to get themselves down and take a statement

    It might help if you can support through the "talking" process and offer a constant non changing point of reference.
     
  14. Emhillo

    Emhillo New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    10 May 2015
    Many thanks,
    We are awaiting help from an autism support worker who will be contacting us today and we will call Samaritans for further guidance. You have been a great deal of help, you're a great bunch!
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page