Mental Health, Suicide, and Autism: ACT’s 2024 Focus on Research Conference – Rate for Educators

Special Rates for Public and Independent School Staff

Thursday, April 4 & Friday, April 5, 2024

Recording available for two weeks after the conference for all registrants.

Attend in-person in Vancouver or web stream live to your home, school, or office!

Research practitioners, including those with lived experience as Autistic Adults, will teach you suicide risk factors and warning signs, and provide practical strategies and resources to support those in crisis.

POPARD and ACT are partnering to offer a subsidized rate for BC educators to attend this presentation. Thanks to POPARD’s generous sponsorship, the fee for this workshop has been reduced to $225 per person for both in-person and online attendance until March 1, 2024. Starting March 2, the educator rate of $275 will apply.

Click the button below to have the special rate coupon automatically applied to your order.

You must register using your school employee email address on the billing section of the checkout page. Please also add a personal email address to the Secondary email address field to ensure we can reach you with the event details.

Click here to see the list of BC school email addresses eligible for this offer.

This list contains 355 public and independent schools, listed alphabetically, that are approved to receive the educators discount. If yours is not listed and you have a BC school email address, please contact [email protected] for support.

If the discount doesn’t show in your cart, apply coupon code popard-for24 on the cart or checkout screen and register using your school employee email address. For guidance on using a coupon on ACT’s website, see Step-by-Step Guide to Using the Coupon Code.

Questions? Email [email protected]


 DateSchool Staff Rate
Early Bird Rate endsMarch 1, 2024$225
Regular Rate beginsMarch 2, 2024$275

*Last day to register is March 28, 2024

Event Details

Suicide is a leading cause of premature death in autistic people. Autistic individuals are significantly more likely to think about and attempt suicide than members of the general population. However, most mental health professionals do not feel confident about identifying suicide risk, particularly signs of acute risk (i.e., warning signs), and intervening when autistic individuals are in crisis.

In bringing Anne, Lisa, Rachel, Jessica, and Shari to Vancouver, our goal is to improve knowledge, skills, and self-efficacy related to recognizing risk factors and warning signs of suicide risk in Autistic individuals, and identifying appropriate crisis supports and resources for this population.

In this workshop, participants will learn about:

  • From Autistic adults with lived experience
  • Why we need to talk about mental health and suicide in the Autistic community
  • The importance of reframing responsibilities and creating culturally safe clinical settings
  • Why school drop-out rates are high among autistic youth and what to do to address this issue
  • The functions of self-injury (i.e., the needs it fulfills, and that self-injury may be suicidal or non-suicidal)
  • About the research related to mental health needs that may be associated with suicide risk and the efficacy of adapted Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
  • About the Autism Resource Warning Signs of Suicide: Considerations for the Autism Community
  • Panel: Next steps as family members, Autistic community members, and professionals

About the Presenters

Anne V. Kirby, PhD, OTR/L

Dr. Anne Kirby is an occupational therapist and researcher currently studying suicide prevention needs in the autistic community. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Utah in the Department of Occupational and Recreational Therapies, with an adjunct role in the Department of Psychiatry and Huntsman Mental Health Institute. She is a principal investigator with the Academic Autism Spectrum Partnership in Research and Education (AASPIRE). She currently leads an NIH-funded research project in partnership with autistic community members in AASPIRE about suicide prevention for the autistic community. She has also conducted studies on other needs among the autistic community and their families, as well as suicide risk and prevention in other populations.

Jessica Schwartzman, PhD

Dr. Jessica Schwartzman is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Keck School of Medicine of USC and Director of the Training and Research to Empower NeuroDiversity (TREND) Lab at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The TREND Lab investigates risks for adverse mental health outcomes in neurodivergent people and their families and partners with community members to develop treatments, with a new research line on mental health outcomes in neurodivergent Latino youth. Dr. Schwartzman is a sibling of an autistic young man with intellectual disability and passionate about participatory research that merges self-advocate, family, and provider perspectives to improve mental healthcare for neurodivergent people.

Lisa Morgan, M.Ed. CAS

Lisa Morgan is a consultant specializing in crisis supports and suicide prevention for autistic people. Lisa is founder and co-chair of the Autism and Suicide Prevention Workgroup and has led the development of several autism specific resources for communicating and supporting autistic people in crisis.  A self-advocate with a passion for strengths-based solutions, Lisa has authored several books, articles, and resources all available on her website: She is a community council member of AASET (Autistic Adults and other Stakeholders Engaged Together) a group of autistic adults participating in research. Lisa has a master’s degree in the Art of Teaching, is a Certified Autism Specialist, a peer reviewer of the online journal, Autism in Adulthood, and owner of Lisa Morgan Consulting LLC. She is currently pursuing her Master of Social Work degree. 

Rachel Mosely, PhD

Dr Rachel Moseley completed her PhD in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, UK, and is now Principle Academic in Psychology at Bournemouth University. While her early work focused on brain function and connectivity, her research now centres on issues facing autistic adults, most notably mental ill-health and suicidality. Dr Moseley is herself autistic, and is passionate about participatory research, positive representation of neurodivergent people, and public engagement to increase acceptance and kindness around neurodiversity. 

Shari Jager-Hyman, PhD

Shari Jager-Hyman, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. Broadly, Dr. Jager-Hyman studies the development and implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) for suicide prevention. In particular, Dr. Jager-Hyman focuses on tailored approaches to suicide prevention for autistic individuals developed in collaboration with autistic partners.


April 4: Grace Iarocci, PhD

Grace Iarocci, PhD is a Professor of Psychology at Simon Fraser University, and the Director of the Autism and Developmental Disorders Lab. A registered psychologist, Dr. Iarocci works closely with government and community agencies in BC to disseminate research information on ASD and influence policy on ASD and other developmental disabilities. Grace has a particular interest in researching quality of life issues among families living with ASD.

April 5: Elina Birmingham, PhD

Elina Birmingham, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Educational Psychology area of the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University (SFU). She completed her PhD in Cognitive Psychology at the University of British Columbia in 2008, followed by postdoctoral fellowships at the California Institute of Technology, and Simon Fraser University. The overarching goal of her research is to better understand and support children, youth and adults on the Autism Spectrum.