COVID-19 and Mental Health (CMH) Initiative: Research

Impact of COVID-19 on the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Caregivers and Families of Autistic People

Key Messages

  • Caregivers and families of autistic people have experienced considerable stress as a result of the COVID-19 social distancing measures, and many endorse mental health difficulties. There are many examples of families having more demands placed on them as a result of COVID-19.
  • To date, there is limited evidence for programs and supports to address caregiver mental health needs.
  • Future planning should include considerations for the significant mental health needs of caregivers and families of autistic people, and plan to evaluate emerging interventions.


  • Autism
  • Caregivers
  • Families
  • Parents
  • Mental Health
  • Wellbeing
  • Crisis
  • Distress
  • Impact


  • Nominated Principal Applicant: Dr. Jonathan Weiss (York University)
  • Dr. Vivian Lee (York University)
  • Carly Albaum (York University)
  • Paula Tablon Modica (York University)
  • Nazilla Khanlou (York University)
  • Farah Ahmad (York University)
  • Jan Willem Gorter (McMaster University)
  • Carly McMorris (University of Calgary)
  • Jonathan Lai (CASDA)
  • Cindy Harrison
  • Teresa Hedley
  • Pari Johnston
  • Connie Putterman
  • Margaret Spoelstra (Autism Ontario)

For more information, please contact: Dr. Jonathan Weiss,

Related Syntheses


(External links)

Full PDF

Lay Summary PDF


Chronic Disease and/or Mental Illness, Children, Youth and Families


To ensure the rapid dissemination of this critical information, information is published in the language in which it was submitted. Please contact us for French or English translations.

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