ACT's Archived News

Online Mental Health and Autism Project – Free Webinars Now Available

Posted December 23, 2016

About the OMHAP Initiative:

This is a free online resource (links below) that has been developed for community professionals to alert them to the mental health needs of children and youth with autism spectrum disorder.

Children and youth with ASD are often affected by psychiatric disorders, including anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorders and attention disorders.

It can be challenging for front-line health, education, and social services professionals to recognize these co-existing disorders, especially in children and youth with ASD who have difficulty communicating social or emotional cues.

This first phase of the OMHAP initiative provides two recorded webinars, by leading B.C. professionals, that highlight best practices in recognizing, identifying and treating the most common mental-health issues, in children and youth with ASD and related disorders.

Visit the Online Mental Health and Autism Project page for more information:

Co-Sponsored by:

Division of Continuing Professional Development, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, advised on the development of the webinars and provided Continuing Educational Credits for registrants.


British Columbia’s Ministry of Children and Family Development has provided funding for OMHAP.

Part 1: Recognizing Mental Health Disorders in Children and Youth with ASD

Webinar 1 focuses on heightening awareness of the high prevalence of autism across the age span which can mask mental health concerns that require treatment from mental health professionals. Total time: 75 minutes.

Outline and speakers:

  1. Introduction – Deborah Pugh
  2. Background to ASD and Mental Health – Karen Bopp, PhD, RSLP
  3. Why are Psychiatric Comorbidities Important? – Anthony Bailey, FRCPsych
  4. Role of the Board Certified Behavior Analyst – Richard Stock, PhD, BCBA-D
  5. Reflections from the Panel – Balbinder Gill, PhD & Grace Iarocci, PhD, RPsych
  6. Question Period

View Webinar 1 videos and resources here:

Part 2: Treating Anxiety, Depression and OCD in Children and Youth with ASD

Webinar 2 focuses on specific mental health conditions that affect children with ASD and their treatment. It also includes discussion on screening, assessment and Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Total time: 77 minutes.

Webinar 2 outline and speakers:

  1. Introduction – Deborah Pugh
  2. Anxiety – Melanie McConnell, PhD, RPsych
  3. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – David Worling, PhD, RPsych
  4. Depression – Anthony Bailey, FRCPsych
  5. Panelist – Georgina Robinson, PhD
  6. Panelist – David Batstone, PhD, RPsych
  7. Questions and Answers

View Webinar 2 videos and resources here:

OMHAP Advisory Committee

Content and structure for OMHAP is determined by an expert advisory committee. Please see for more information about the Advisory Committee and the OMHAP initiative.