At SYA? we hope that you are able to find a small community of support and friendship that can carry on once you complete the programme. This may be from the members of the programme you attended, or online communities such as those listed in the useful resources section.
The University of Kent (UoK) is a great place for autistic support and takes many forms:
- Informal autistic meet-ups/socials
- Kent Autistics group (UoKA), led by Chloe and Annette, is held weekly for two hours. This group is open to anyone, and is inclusive of women, men, non-binary, trans and other persons (typically with a more internal-type autistic expression). If you would like to find out more, and when and where UoKA are meeting this term please email: email@example.com or add the closed Facebook group.
- The Wednesday group, KASCAfb, led by Student Support is held Wednesday’s in term-time, typically from 4pm-6pm. This group is for everyone who identifies as autistic, and often includes more external-type Autistics.
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details about e.g. where it is held and to show interest in attending
There are also a number of societies on campus that may appeal to your interests or if you need support (some which actively try to break from the drinking society trope), such as:
- Mental Health Group UKC – which will have a Hearing Voices subgroup 2018-2019 academic year
- The Adventure Gaming Society – D&D etc.!
- WhoSoc – Doctor Who, of course!
- Kent Video Gaming society
- KentAnimated (ANIME) – Japanese animation, manga and subculture appreciation society
- LGBT+ Society
- Quidditch society – an offshoot of the Hogwarts Society
- Science-fiction, Fantasy and eXtreme Cult society
There is a Student Support & Wellbeing team located mostly in Keynes College in Canterbury and in the Gillingham building in Medway, which includes an Autism Support team – please direct any enquiries about autism to email@example.com or see their website for details.
- If you were referred to us by Student Support we imagine you already are aware of the range of services on offer, but this is just a reminder of what you can receive if you have a diagnosis (while without a diagnosis you cannot access all the services geared to Autistics, you can still access e.g. counselling support etc.):
- A disability adviser
- can create an inclusive learning plan with you for your school (this is up to you, and not compulsory – it may help with academics understanding any reasonable adjustments you may need, e.g. clear instructions for work and deadlines etc.)
- they can also advise and assist in the application processes for Disabled Student’s Allowance (DSA), which you are entitled to if you have a diagnosis.
- Specialist Mentors, who will provide weekly mentoring support for students
- Educational Support Assistance (ESA), who can also take notes in lectures if arranged in advance, among other educational skills help
- A disability adviser
Crisis and mental wellbeing services, there are numerous wellbeing services at UoK, regardless of diagnosis, which include:
- Emergency support
- Mental health services
- Disability support
If you are in crisis and cannot access student services (e.g. out of hours) please remember there are other avenues of support:
- NHS 111 is the NHS urgent help advice line. It’s fast, easy and free.
- Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency.
- Samaritans, the Samaritans offer confidential support to anyone who needs them, and you do not have to feel suicidal to contact them:
- Samaritans Canterbury
- 32 Northgate Canterbury Kent CT1 1BL
National telephone: 116 123 (this number is free to call)
Email Samaritans: firstname.lastname@example.org (UK and ROI)
- Rape and sexual assault – The perpetrator is always to blame for sexual assault or rape, and the UoK takes it very seriously. Please see their website for full details on what to do if you are assaulted.
- If you are having suicidal thoughts talk to someone you can trust. At SYA? we are aware of the high suicide rate and suicidal ideation in our community. We will always listen and take you seriously. We are not professionals when it comes to suicide, but there is great help at the UoK, please see this leaflet on what help there is – you are never alone.
- Remember Samaritans are always available, day or night, if you are suicidal, so please call them if you are in need: National telephone: 116 123 (this number is free to call)