Researchers at the University of Calgary’s Enhance Lab are recruiting participants from the UCalgary community to help them learn more about what factors affect the mental health of autistic students in university.
– have an autism diagnosis, or self-identify as autistic
– are currently enrolled at UCalgary as a part time or full time student, and
– can read and write in English, they want to hear from you.
Students are asked to complete an online survey asking about their mental health, autism, and experiences in university. There may also be an optional follow up interview to explore their experiences more in depth.
If you would like to learn more or participate, contact the lab directly by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or call them at 403 441-8473.
Background and Rationale
The number of autistic people attending higher education has increased over the last decade. However, autistic people often struggle to reach their full potential in higher education due to challenges like poor executive functioning and sensory issues, with many students dropping out or failing to graduate. One key challenge for autistic students is poor mental health, with an estimated 40 to 70 per cent experiencing at least one mental health issue like anxiety, depression, or suicidal ideation. However, the reasons behind autistic students’ high rates of mental health problems remain somewhat unclear.
This research study aims to better understand what factors are associated with the mental health of autistic students in higher education. Through the results of this study, they aim to improve autistic people’s ability to succeed in higher education, as well as contribute to solving the mental health crisis in higher education among autistic and non-autistic people alike.
About the Enhance Lab
The Enhance Lab conducts research that aims to enhance the lives of children and youth and their families through a better understanding of neurodevelopment, health, and education. We focus our research on neurodevelopmental disorders and the physical and mental health problems that commonly occur alongside them. We know that individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders are impacted far beyond their primary diagnosis, so our research encompasses the broad range of complex issues that these individuals and their families face.