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Navigating academic responsibilities and a social life in college can be overwhelming, even more so for autistic students. Seeking help can also be challenging for autistic individuals. In an OAR “first,” two 2020 OAR applied research grantees used research from their most recent study to write a new OAR guide that provides advice about how to navigate the stresses of college.  

Rutgers University researchers, Vanessa Bal, Ph.D. and Evan Kleiman, Ph.D., wrote A Mental Health Guide for Autistic College Students, a resource intended to help autistic students support their wellbeing and understand when and where to seek mental health services on campus. The guide answers critical questions such as: 

  • What can I do to promote my own well-being?
  • What can I do if I feel overwhelmed? 
  • When should I seek help? 
  • Why should I seek mental health services?
  • How do I access services? 

It also discusses how students can take care of their mental and physical health, with information about getting a good night’s sleep, eating nutritious meals, and the importance of exercise.  The online guide is written in plain language and is available in two versions on OAR’s website, one with and one without full graphics. 

For more information about the development of the mental health guide, read the Research Review in the August issue of The OARacle. For questions, comments, or feedback on the guide, please contact programs @