Helping Ontario's colleges and universities enhance capacity to support student mental health and well-being

Campus Initiative

Mental Health Screening Tool & Mindfulness Based Supports for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder – MHIF (Round 2)

Project Summary:

Significant challenges face Ontario’s post-secondary education system as it seeks to address the risks of poor academic achievement and early school leaving for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who experience concurrent mental health issues. The inability of institutions to address the needs of these students poses significant short- and long-term burdens for individuals, families, and the province. These burdens involve human and financial costs of an intense, broad, and persistent nature (involving individuals, families, institutional and health care sectors, and society). The goals of our project are to develop, pilot, and evaluate a risk-based approach for engaging, screening, and supporting post-secondary students with (ASD) who are experiencing mental health issues.

 Specifically, we will develop and evaluate a campus-based early mental health intervention for individuals with ASD involving: A student engagement process; a rapid screening tool; and the delivery of a program of mindfulness based training and support. We anticipate that this intervention will lead to: Enhanced coping skills; an amelioration of psychiatric symptoms; an expansion of opportunities for the experiences of natural support; which will contribute to improved academic performance and retention. Lessons learned and best practices will be shared through the development of information and resources and through knowledge exchange events hosted by the Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health and others.

Project Contact:

Dr. Janos Botschner

Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Jonathan Weiss

Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Jane Hamilton-Wilson

Project Manager

View The Initiative Maps