This May, the Autism Society has chosen to focus on mental health and self-care, two topics that are of critical importance as the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. Our goal is to convey a feeling of unity and togetherness–taking full advantage of Mental Health Month to better support our affiliates, constituents, and the autism community during this time.
Our May resources will be updated throughout the coming weeks with relevant resources and content as the ongoing pandemic evolves; we encourage you to visit our COVID-19 Resources Page and Coronavirus Information Series for more information about the pandemic specifically. Below we have compiled a digital toolkit of resources, information, referrals, and support to help autistic individuals and their families navigate mental health and self-care this May.
COVID-19 Mental Health Resources
- Autism Society of America’s COVID-19 Mental Health and Respite
- Supporting Individuals with Autism through Uncertain Times
- CDCs Mental Health & Coping with COVID-19
- Stay Connected to Combat Loneliness and Social Isolation
- Occurring Mental Health Challenges, Hosted by Dr. Cathy Pratt, Director of Indiana Center for Autism
- Preventing & Spotting Psychiatric Crisis, Featuring Dr. Bennet Leventhal, Professor of Psychiatry and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry & Medical Director, UCSF Center for ASD
- Life with Autism During COVID-19, Featuring Russell Lehmann (Speaker, Author, Poet, & Advocate) and Kyle Weiss (Essayist, Writer & Mentor)
- Spectrum News: Autism & Co-Occurring Mental Health Statistics
- A Guidebook on Mental Health Issues affecting individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Crisis Supports for the Autism Community
Public Policy Resources
- The Public Policy section of the COVID-19 Toolkit to provide public policy advocacy tools
- Our Coronavirus Information Series on Facebook Live
- The Autism Society’s detailed summary of United States Coronavirus Aid specific to the autism and disability communities specifically
- Education for All Learners, which provides resources for schools and parents
- Strong Institute’s Calming Music for Anxiety
- Moshi Twilight: soothing autism bedtime stories to help kids sleep
- Calming your COVID-19 anxiety through mindfulness meditation
- How to Cope with Burnout As a Caretaker
- How to Best Support Your Child’s Mental and Emotional Health during COVID-19
- How to Take Care of Your Mental Health During COVID-19
- Realistic Ways to Practice Self Care as a Parent
- How to Practice Gratitude for Mental Health
- Autism Society of Minnesota & Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin present “Stronger Together in 2020,” a virtual autism conference from April 30 to May 2 accessible from the comfort and safety of home
- Autism Society of Central Virginia’s virtual support groups
- Autism Society of Greater New Orleans “Virtual Dinner Party for Adults with Autism”
- At-risk Autism Society Affiliates will be delivering masks to Direct Support Professionals and residents in congregate settings.
We encourage you to contact the Autism Society affiliate in your area, as our affiliates are often the most knowledgeable about local services. To find an affiliate in your area, click here.
The Autism Society’s National Contact Center staff are here to support you and provide you with the resources you need. Our Information & Referral Specialists are available Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 7:00 pm (Eastern Time) at 800-3-AUTISM (800-328-8476) or email@example.com.
The Autism Society is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all affected by autism. $50 allows the Autism Society to provide an hour of support to our affiliate network to create localized education resources, support, and advocacy to individuals and families affected by autism. If you found this article helpful, please consider supporting our efforts through a donation, every bit helps. Donate here!