Health and wellbeing

This research program aims to identify factors that enable all autistic people to live long, healthy and happy lives.

Research theme leader:
Associate Professor Darren Hedley

Researchers:
Katy Unwin, Simon Bury, Cheryl Dissanayake, Amanda Richdale, Lauren Lawson,

We achieve these aims through advocacy and policy development, academic research, and working with autistic people.

We have:

  • trained the workforce to better support the health and wellbeing needs of autistic workers
  • developed suicide prevention tools and education programs
  • delivered training to allied health professionals
  • conducted research in the areas of anxiety, depression, sleep, and suicide prevention.

We recognise that the high rate of suicide and co-occurring health and other conditions makes the autistic community a priority group for action. Policies that improve access to high quality allied healthcare delivered by a trained and experienced workforce are critical. This work needs to be underpinned by high quality research that meets the priorities and goals of autistic people.

The Suicide Response Project (SRP)

Co-designed with autistic and LGBTIQA+ people with lived experience of suicide ideation and their families and people with lived experience of being bereaved by suicide or having supported someone after a suicide attempt. The SRP provides tips for the general public on how to detect and respond to suicide risk in others.

SRP website

How do resilience and coping strategies influence the mental health and well-being of autistic adults?

Read the online presentation below based on recent OTARC research by PhD candidate Melanie Muniandy and colleagues.