Autism is a lifelong condition experienced by 1 in 70 Australians, impacting their social interaction, communication, interests, behaviours, and sensory sensitivity (Autism Spectrum Australia, https://www.autismspectrum.org.au/about-autism/what-is-autism). Individuals on the autism spectrum experience a wide range of challenges, which can also affect their friends and family.
While autism can be linked to physical and developmental conditions, it can also affect an individual’s mental health. Common mental health conditions for people with autism include anxiety and depression. Parents, friends, or loved ones supporting someone with autism can also face mental health issues.
There is a range of digital mental health resources available to provide information, advice, and support for people affected by autism.
Raising Children is a website funded by the Australian Government to provide information on parenting and parenting strategies. The website is designed to support families on a range of topics including autism. They provide information, tips, and advice about autism, behaviour, communication, relationships, development, health and daily care, school, work, and play. Raising Children provides guidance to access therapies and services suitable for autism, parenting guides, and videos relating to autism with children and teenagers.
Beyond Blue provides information, support, and counselling for Australians struggling with mental health concerns, through their website or over the phone. Their website includes online forums where individuals can access peer-support on a range of topics including autism. These forums are available to individuals with autism, their friends, family, and loved ones to provide support, advice and connect people with shared experiences.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder
Headspace provides support and information to young Australians experiencing mental health concerns, their family, and friends. Their website includes information, advice, crisis support, and peer-support on a range of topics, including autism. Users can learn about what autism spectrum disorder is, the characteristics, effects, how to access support, and an online forum for supporting someone with autism.
Launchpad is a website developed by Autism Spectrum Australia to support young Australians with autism or Aspergers, and their family as they approach high school. The Launchpad website aims to support individuals through their transition into adult life, providing information, strategies, and personal stories on coping with stress, social life, and maintaining good health.
There are also resources available to support other mental health conditions individuals affected by autism can experience. The MindSpot Clinic, Mental Health Online, and This Way Up provide online programs and support for individuals coping with anxiety and depression, amongst other mental health conditions. While not specifically designed for people on the autistic spectrum, they could be very helpful for anyone experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety.