Meeting: January 19, 2017 ASD & Mental Health- Canadian Mental Health, Echo Program

We are seeing that people with ASD experience mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and depression, at greater rates than the general population. Often these conditions have a greater negative impact on their lives than does autism. We are exploring which programs exist which might be effective, accessible and affordable for ASD individuals.

Speakers:   Kelsey Millar, Vocational Coordinator, Canadian Mental Health Association


                     Brittany Borean, Program Coordinator, ECHO program, CMHA

The ECHO Clubhouse philosophy includes recovery, wellness and personal responsibility. ECHO’s goal is to encourage greater community involvement and connections for young adults, 19-35 years old, who are living with, or recovering from a mental illness. Programs are tailored to an individual’s needs and goals, which might include employment, education, housing, and/or social connection. Regular activities include a games night, bowling, movie nights, wellness classes, are, cooking, and then sharing a meal together. ECHO is operated as a drop-in program.

Prospective participants are required to attend an orientation session, followed by a meeting with Kelsey. They are also required to have a community referral (contact ECHO for further info). Participants must be residents of Burnaby. This restriction was frustrating to our membership, who live throughout the Lower Mainland. Ways to “get around” this restriction were discussed, but no resolution found.

Kelsey has interest and training in vocational counselling, and can assist individuals with career planning through a program called “career cruising”.

The Clubhouse is run by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Vancouver-Fraser Branch, and has two sites:

Edmonds: 604.526.9606, 109 – 7355 Canada Way

Gilmore: 604.291.8846, 501-4190 Lougheed Hwy

Other Resources:

Youth Mindfulness Group, YMCA of Greater Vancouver, Sarah Blackmore, MA, RCC

T: 604-673-6175

Video:  YMCA Youth Mindfulness Group

A mindfulness-based group for youth ages 18-30 who experience anxiety. This is a 7-week support group that meets one evening a week in a safe and friendly environment. This group is both psycho-educational and experiential and is grounded in the principles of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy and Mindfulness. Another benefit is that participants receive a complimentary YMCA gym membership. There are 2-3 intakes per year, with locations in Vancouver & Surrey. Apply now to be put on a wait list.

Each group can accept 12 participants with two facilitators, each with Clinical Counselling degrees at a Masters level. This program is fully funded at present, and therefore, the program is offered at no cost to participants. Another benefit is that participants will receive a complimentary YMCA gym membership. Following an information session, prospective participants will be asked to fill out forms and undergo an intake interview. Some applicants may be referred to other services, if the program facilitators find that his or her needs cannot be best served in this program.

To register please email:

Burnaby Mental Health

Mental Health Team, Burnaby 604.453.1900 ext 531935 Sarah

Psychiatric, one to one, and group counselling are offered to adults 19 and over. A doctor’s referral is required. –  There are two group streams: Rapid Access Anxiety or Rapid Access Depression – Participants are required to attend 4 initial sessions, which are then followed by eight Cognitive Behavioral Training sessions. Counselling & Psychiatric covered by MSP. There is usually about a 1 week wait between processing referral to intake.

Fraser Health New West 604.777.6800

Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre  604.875.2084

Mindshift App

 “Dealing with Depression”        crisis line