This storyteller shares a story about the time they were sent 'signposting' information about care and support available, but how it was impossible to act on that from a place of crisis, so it wasnt really much use at all. The information sent and the manner in which it was sent was technically very good signposting - but it people can't act on the information, and there is no support to help them get to the services they need, or no one to talk it through with - it can defeat the object! 




do you just want to tell me a bit about Signposting? Yeah, um, I've had very different experiences, depending on where I am as a person. So what I'd say is that each of us has our own experience of the world, and that ultimately affects how we can be. Um, you know what? What we can do to meet the expectations of what that signposting might be. But however, if we're at a point in our lives where we're un unable to function, then the signposting could be the most solid well thought out, whether it be an email or even a message or whatever it might be

But if the person on the other end and their experience, what they're experiencing at that time is possibly, you know, crisis or going through some sort of serious, um, problem with managing their daily, uh, matters signposting fails, um, mainly on the principles around that the individual who's in crisis or unable to advocate for themselves in most of the pillars of their lives, whether that be, uh, you know, interacting with the community, uh, going to the doctors, um, speaking with family, all of those basic things that most people take for granted are actually practically impossible when you're in a crisis situation. So therefore having a an email come along with lots of Li links and stuff that someone deems as being really helpful and then not following up on that afterwards, leaving a person in limbo in confusion, on top of being already very confused is a is a is a recipe for causing even deeper crisis. So actually, sometimes being signposted can cause more problems

And And I would say in my experiences when I've been at the worst points of my life, having signposting hasn't helped me, it's actually left me more vulnerable and more confused and actually sort of belittled in some regard because I couldn't understand it. And when I when I reached out to question some of the points, I had a I remember having one phone conversation where I was talked all over, and at the point I'm I mean, at this moment in time, I'm speaking clearly coherently, and I'm advocating for myself. I'm in a very what I would class a very good place psychologically because of what I've managed to put in around my my life at the moment

But when I go back to where I wasn't in this position, IF failed to be able to communicate with people. I failed to be able to give two way conversation. So I I became very submissive and very people pleasing, if you like, because I was in a vulnerable place, so I couldn't speak up for myself

So when these people I would go and talk to could probably pick up that I wasn't very clear or very you know, I didn't really know what I was talking about. It almost felt like that they immediately approached this domineering, hierarchical position. Well, you need to do this

You're expected to do this. You need to take responsibility for yourself. And all this kind of language that belittled me made me feel even worse because I don't understand what any of this stuff in this signposting email meant, let alone what I had to do to act on it

So we've got too many things in one little sentence that that are coming from the word signposting is the ability to act on it, the ability to, uh, communicate and and and, uh, you know, on your advocate on your own when you're not able to. It's the ability to use that information constructively. If you can't look after yourself anyway, how are you going to then work on a signposting email so that that's kind of in a nutshell, My thoughts around it, how that it is actually very mechanically sound and a great thing from the perspective of those delivering it

But for those receiving it, it's all entirely subjective every single time and there is no attention to details of that. What would make a difference for you if people were just honest, you know, honest at the start and said, Oh, I'm sorry, Social services I've got to show to be doing this So we've got to jump through this hoop to jump through another hoop. But why can't people just be honest and tell the truth and stop dilly dallying? Because if it's about key performance indicators, why can't they just say so? You know, rather than you know F us off? What would have made a difference for you, Nat S, For someone to be human to say hi

Hey, Nat, How's your week? Been all right, You know, just a simple conversation to actually get on a level with someone and go, Yeah, this is why I'm struggling and this is why I can't do what I'm doing. So if someone has a context because an email being sent to an individual and the other person on the other end, you don't know what they're going through, so you don't have a context. So what I'm getting at is that when I've gone through some of these things, if I'd a had person to sort of, almost for me as a person with autism, I like to be able to talk things through

It's no good sending me something that's all really well written out and all this that I won't take that information on as well as when I when I communicate verbally and that's just me personally. But another autistic person may have a completely different need in that regard, so it's understanding what I need as a person to function and and on the face of it, when I'm not able to function, I'm not high functioning at all. That label completely fails me as a person and and and others that that I know agree with that is that that that actually, when we're really in a bad place, uh, and we're not functioning that that's caused by us not being able to have our needs met and be able to be heard and listened to for the things we struggle with, which could be this whole scenario around being given the support through a signposting email


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