This week on #SPSM Chat co-hosts Rudy Caseres (@RudyCaseres), Joelle Marie (@LazTheLazTheLaz), and Hudson Harris (@MentalStrategy) discuss the topic “Camouflaging Distress: #ActuallyAutistic Suicide Risks” with guests Lydia X. Z. Brown (@autistichoya) and Shain A. M. Neumeier (@smneumeier).
Watch as we discuss issues such as:
How might autistic camouflaging (or attempting to) contribute to distress?
What are some ways autistics experience “help” as harm and what might be some reasons this happens?
How might different models of disability and identity factor into extreme distress or suicidality in the autistic population?
How can suicide and extreme distress be reduced in autistics by systemic change?
Lydia X. Z. Brown (they/them) is a disability justice advocate, organizer, educator, attorney, strategist, and writer whose work has largely focused on violence against multiply-marginalized disabled people, especially institutionalization, incarceration, and policing. They co-lead the project on disability rights and algorithmic fairness at the Institute for Technology Law and Policy at Georgetown University Law Center, teach for Georgetown University’s disability studies program, and support the Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network’s public policy advocacy. They are also founder and director of the Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment, and lead editor of All the Weight of Our Dreams: On Living Racialized Autism. In 2018, NBC featured Lydia as one of 26 Asian Pacific American breakthrough leaders for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and Amplifier featured Lydia as part of the We The Future campaign for youth activism. In 2015, they were named to Pacific Standard’s 30 Top Thinkers Under 30 list, and to Mic’s list of 50 impactful leaders, cultural influencers, and breakthrough innovators. Their work appears in numerous scholarly and community publications, and they have received many awards for their work, including from the Obama White House, the Society for Disability Studies, the American Association of People with Disabilities, the Washington Peace Center, the Disability Policy Consortium, and the National Council on Independent Living.
Shain A. M. Neumeier (they/them) is a lawyer, activist, and community organizer, as well as an out and proud member of the disabled, trans, queer, and asexual communities. Their passion on the issue of ending abuse and neglect of youth with disabilities in schools and treatment facilities stems from their own experiences with involuntary medical treatment and bullying, and led them to go to law school. They have pursued their goal of using legal advocacy to address these problems ever since. Shain is currently the New York/New England Region Advisory Committee Leader for the Intersex and Genderqueer Recognition Project. They have previously worked with the Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network, the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, and the Community Alliance for the Ethical Treatment of Youth, as well as operated a solo law practice focused on youth, trans, and disability rights. They were named the Asperger Works Bryan Noble Awardee in 2019, Massachusetts Bar Association’s Outstanding Young Attorney in 2018, the Self-Advocacy Association of New York State’s Self Advocate of the Year in 2017, and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities’ Leadership in Advocacy Awardee in 2015. Their work appears in Autistic Activism and the Neurodiversity Movement: Stories from the Frontlines, Resistance and Hope: Crip Wisdom for the People, Rewire News, and Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking. When not working, they’re probably crafting, playing Dungeons & Dragons, listening to history podcasts, or watching Netflix with their partner and three feline roommates.
SPSM Chat is co-hosted by Rudy Caseres, Joelle Marie, Marie Shanley, Danielle Glick, and Hudson Harris. We stream live (as well as host a Twitter chat) every Sunday evening at 6pm PT/9pm ET. Each week we have a new expert guest to discuss the most important issues in the world of suicide prevention. All past episodes can be viewed on our YouTube channel and at SPSMchat.com. We are also on Facebook, Twitter/Periscope, and Mixer.
***Content warning: SPSM Chat includes content about suicide and other experiences that may be traumatizing to you. You may experience strong or overwhelming emotions as a result. If you find yourself in distress or crisis, we encourage you to seek out support that works for you. Many people find it helpful to talk to a friend, family member, or someone else they trust.
If you would like formal crisis support, you can call National Suicide Prevention Lifelineat 800-273-8255, Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 (U.S.) or 877-330-6366 (Canada), or The Trevor Project at 866-488-7386. If you don’t like talking on the phone, you can text HOME to 741741 to get to Crisis Text Line, or you can try Lifeline Crisis Chat.
If you’d like to talk to a peer, warmline.org contains links to warmlines in the United States. If you’re not in the U.S., you can go to iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres for a connection to crisis centers around the world.
Many of these resources could utilize restrictive interventions, like active rescues (wellness or welfare checks) involving law enforcement or emergency services. A warmline is least likely to do this, but still might have these policies. You can ask if this is a possibility at any point in your conversation if this is a concern for you.
The following do not implement any restrictive interventions for people considering suicide:
Peerly Human online support groups: peerlyhuman.blogspot.com
Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860 (U.S.) or 877-330-6366 (Canada)