I am 26 years old, I go to UVic and I have Asperger’s Syndrome. Recently I developed an interest in helping people and attempted to obtain a job at a suicide prevention organization. I was turned down due to a lack of empathy resulting from the first reason that I stated. I cannot offer empathy–only the the fact that I care enough about people’s problems to try and provide the kind of comfort that can only come when the problem is much reduced or made to go away entirely. People on the autism spectrum typically commit suicide at a rate easily thirty times higher than that of the general population, and I believe that such statistics reveal a population that is alienated, ignored and underserved. That suicide prevention lines often offer little but lukewarm feigned listening, stale platitudes and a possible visitation of the local mental health goon squad to one’s door when one reaches the point of uttering threats against one’s own person is probably responsible for this fact. Platitudes, pills and confinement for one’s own safety–little use for any purpose except to sustain a person in the same substandard situation as it keeps on going. To make matters worse, being thrown at the feet of said authorities can frequently put a cold, wet end to one’s aspirations for the future due to the stigma that results. Before it gets to that point, though, it can be hard to be taken seriously when one is written off as overly sensitive or dramatic. People who refer to the Golden Years as such are mistaken. People who refer to one’s teens and high school years specifically as the best years of one’s life should be slapped hard, twice, with a rubber fish.
I do not have all the answers, but the least I can do is try, which is more than what too many are willing to do. Suicide is indeed an answer, but it is only one among many. The many will be considered here. Other people who may have opinions are welcome to post and weigh in on situations as they appear, but please, please, please keep it sensitive, logical and TASTEFUL. Trolls belong under bridges…this is a moderated blog.