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Let's talk about depression. That is, Poland Into the Blue 2021

Anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts. These are problems that often affect people on the autism spectrum.

Hundreds of autistic people and their loved ones in distress call TeleJiM, the JiM Foundation's help phone. Especially now, in times of pandemic, the Foundation undertakes hundreds of interventions in crisis situations. The Foundation's specialists, psychologists and therapists double and triple their efforts to support autistic people and their caregivers.

- Anxiety and depression are a very serious problem these days. Our help is possible thanks to the support of donors. That's why we are addressing this topic in this year's PNN campaign. Among other things, we use the funds raised to organize support for people in mental crisis," says Hanna Bednarek-Kolasinska, spokesperson for the JiM Foundation.

The campaign features the story of Christopher on the autism spectrum. The story highlights the problem of loneliness and stigma, which causes anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. The pandemic further escalates this problem. Data used in the campaign is taken from scientific studies, including "Suicidal ideation and suicide plans or attempts in adults with Asperger's syndrome attending a specialist diagnostic clinic: a clinical cohort study," per The Lancet. In that study, the researchers found that in the group studied, 66% of people on the autism spectrum have or have had suicidal thoughts.

The JiM Foundation is not passing by this problem indifferently.

- I have a son with Asperger's syndrome and I appreciate this campaign. Both this latest campaign and other initiatives of the JiM Foundation remind me and other parents of children on the spectrum of how serious, difficult and complicated this subject is. The data we are reminded of are not nice and pleasant. But they are real. That's what NGOs are for, to engage donors to remind us that they are solving serious and real social problems," comments Andrzej Pietrucha, Academy of Civic Organizations Foundation, father of a son with Asperger's syndrome, JiM Foundation volunteer Council member.

- It is the duty of every NGO that wants to act strategically and responsibly to carry out its mission to organize cyclically, in a planned and conscious manner, campaigns to inform and engage donors, adds Andrzej Pietrucha.

The JiM Foundation has been helping people with autism and their caregivers for 19 years. Its goal is to create a better world for autistic people, fight for access to diagnosis and therapy, and build acceptance and support for adults on the spectrum. The Foundation's assistance during the year includes 302 diagnosed children, 1187 crisis interventions, 14185 hours of struggle for independence. The JiM Foundation is also the organizer of the nationwide Quiet Hours campaign, in which it encourages retail chains and stores to take into account the needs of people with autism by leveling excessive stimuli (including loud noises and intense lighting) and to meet their needs. It creates public awareness campaigns that build knowledge about autism and teach understanding for people on the spectrum. The JiM Foundation is a member of Autism-Europe, the International Federation, which brings together dozens of organizations from across Europe. It is also the organizer-host of the Autism-Europe International Congress on Autism, which will take place in 2022 in Krakow, Poland.

The Poland In Blue 2021 campaign was consulted with people on the autism spectrum and their caregivers.


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