Autism Teen Wellbeing Website
One in two young Australians on the autism spectrum experience anxiety and one in three experience depression, rates up to twice as high as those for non-autistic young Australians.
The website autismteenwellbeing.com.au helps to build protective factors against depression and anxiety for these vulnerable young people by cultivating a sense of belonging and the ability to regulate emotions in the face of stress.
Designed for parents, teachers, schools and communities to support wellbeing in teenagers on the autism spectrum, the website is the culmination of three years of collaborative research. While we know that autistic young people have an increased risk for mental health problems, there is not much research on prevention and early intervention for this group. By harnessing two protective factors – a sense of belonging and the ability to manage emotions in the face of stress – the team has developed a multi-layered approach for improving the mental health of autistic teenagers.
This includes giving parents and caregivers ideas for managing their own stress, improving relationships and helping adolescents manage their emotions.
For teachers and principals, there are ideas for promoting a sense of connectedness in the classroom and the wider school or community, as well as strategies for managing their own stress.