Brain in hand - personal technology for independant living

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Ian Mitchell is an experienced operational research manager, using modelling, statistical analysis and simulations to develop practical solutions to problems faced by the Government. A grade 7 Civil Servant, he has significant analysis responsibilities supporting a broad range of policies.

Ian enjoys his job, but changes in management can cause him to become stressed, develop insomnia and require time off work to recover. He can have the same job, be sat at the same desk, but if management procedures or people change, Ian can find it too much.

After spotting this pattern, Ian sought medical help and when he turned 49 he was assessed as having a broad autistic phenotype. This helped Ian to better understand his situation and meant he would no longer rely on prescription drugs, which previously only patched over his situation.

From the first interview onwards, his employer made reasonable adjustments to his workplace, letting him work from home three days a week. Following assessment they also appointed a work place supporter from CareTrade Charitable Trust and purchased Brain in Hand.

Ian uses Brain in Hand to support him with work tasks. For example, he has lists to remind him what to consider when writing a report and how to write letters. He includes coping strategies he knows will work when he is feeling anxious, such as when he receives what seems unfair criticism. This helps him to quickly and discretely remind himself of thoughts and actions which will reduce his anxiety.

Ian also uses the anxiety monitor to track his moods, which he finds very helpful. He shares this with his manager, as it helps explain how Ian is feeling, and motivates them both when it shows that things are going well.

His Brain in Hand is linked to Ian’s work place supporter, Judith. If Ian is feeling anxious and his coping strategies aren’t working, he presses red and Judith gets in touch by text, helping him to resolve a situation.

Commenting on Brain in Hand Ian says “A change in management can turn dream jobs into nightmares for me. But Brain in Hand helps a lot. It helps keep me on track and at work.”
His work place supporter, Judith adds “Ian increasingly uses Brain in Hand to cope with workplace anxieties. He manages it himself. At first Ian would request additional support from me through Brain in Hand, but now I hardly ever hear from him. Brain in Hand has been such a proactive step for him to self-manage.”