Neurodiversity and Mental Health in Schools
In March 2021, we partnered with Selkirk High School and The Harris Trust to deliver three webinars on neurodiversity in secondary schools. There was a particular focus on the experiences of autistic young people, and on mental health.
Each session featured a short talk and a chance for questions from the audience. Sessions included autistic people as speakers and panellists. The focus was on providing an up to date and progressive model for understanding autism and delivering support to enable autistic young people to thrive.
This talk provides an introduction to the concept of neurodiversity and its relevance for autism and mental health.
Sue Fletcher-Watson is Professor of Developmental Psychology at University of Edinburgh, Director of the Salvesen Mindroom Research Centre and an expert in neurodiversity-informed autism research and evidence-based practice.
Natalie Jenkins is a researcher at the University of Edinburgh with a focus on traumatic brain injury and dementia. She has autism and has developed resources for supporting autistic staff and students in higher education.
This talk explores mental health experiences in autistic young people considering influential factors, ways to understand, and to help.
Monique Botha is an autistic autism researcher, and a Research Fellow at University of Stirling. Monique’s research focuses on neurodiversity, mental health, wellbeing, and minority stress.
Sonny Hallett is a trainee counsellor, and current mental health advisor to AMASE (Autistic Mutual Aid Society Edinburgh). They have run two community-led research projects: one on autistic people's access to mental health support, and another on autistic people's experiences of counselling.
AMASE are interested in autistic identity, diversity, accommodations, and connection, and exploring how their own autistic identity intersects with the other parts of themself. They also like to spend a lot of time out in the woods looking for fungi and bugs.
This talk explores how to supporting autistic young people through peer networks.
Catherine Crompton is a researcher in the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. Her research explores the diverse ways that neurodivergent people communicate, and she is particularly interested in how peer support might benefit neurodivergent people.
Fergus Murray is a science teacher, writer and current chair of AMASE. Formally identified as autistic at the age of thirty-one, they write about autistic experiences and psychological theories of autism, take a lot of photos of nature and do a bit of programming for fun.
- Advice for professionals on supporting autistic children at risk of suicide, from Autistica
- Information about supporting autistic people’s mental health, from University of Nottingham
- Recommendations for counselling autistic people, from AMASE
- A short guide to autistic people’s mental health needs and how to meet them, from AMASE
- 'Making education work for the next generation of neurodivergent pupils' - a piece by Fergus Murray
- A 'Neurodiversity in the education workforce' panel discussion, hosted on YouTube
- Autistic School Staff project: Helping to Facilitate Diversity and Inclusion in Schools, sign up to their webinar - April 2021
- Oliver McGowan Training: training for staff in health and social care on learning disability and autism