Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHP) workshop on understanding and responding to autism

This well-established one-day in-house workshop has been especially designed for Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs) and is now widely available and CPD accredited.  It comprises a mix of taught content, video, discussion and case and general open discussion.  Follow up support for a particular theme is available if required.

Aims of workshop

  • Improve understanding of the nature of autism
  • Understand the overlap between autistic and mental health conditions
  • Improve the way that mental health practitioners respond to autistic individuals in line with the 1983 MHA and Code of Practice 2015; Autism Act 2009 and subsequent statutory guidance
  • Improve the skills and capacity of mental health professionals to interview and deal with the mental health needs of autistic individuals
  • Improve the satisfaction of autistic individuals and their families with the support they get from mental health professionals

Content of workshop

  • About autism – diagnostic criteria and definitions and brief historical context
  • Discussion of the nature and expression of autistic spectrum conditions
  • About autism and mental health and the prevalence of mental health conditions in autism
  • Discussion of impact of mental health conditions on autistic individuals
  • About services and responses
  • Implications of official guidance
  • Sharing autistic perspectives and insights of autism and mental health – an ‘inside out’ approach to autism, services and support

‘Trainers had fantastic knowledge and flexibility in understanding questions and providing answers’

‘Trainers were very engaging’

‘The videos were insightful and thought provoking’

‘Very interactive training’

AMHP course attendees, Birmingham

Outcomes of workshop – Participants will:

  • Understand the relationship between autism and mental health conditions and implications for practice. Addressing grey areas in the legislation; what is autism and what is a mental health condition.
  • Understand the likely prevalence of autistic conditions and different mental health difficulties found in autism
  • Develop an insight into how autistic individuals may think and process information and how this will inform practice and services
  • Understanding the sensory processing experiences found in autism and how this will inform practice and services
  • Understand approaches for interacting and communicating with autistic individuals and how this will inform practice and services
  • Understand the impact regarding autistic individuals of the Mental Health Act 1983, Code of Practice 2015; Autism Act 2009 and associated legislation and guidance

I have commissioned several days of this workshop over the past few years to be delivered to AMHPs across the north, north-east and east-London Local Authorities.

Each workshop has been well-received by the attending AMHPs and the post-workshop evaluation has been consistently positive.

This workshop is a valuable tool in developing staff knowledge and understanding at this level to support Autistic clients.

I am happy to recommend this workshop to staff who are practicing at AMHP level or wish to build upon their existing skills and knowledge in working with clients on the Autistic Spectrum.

Terry Cocklin

Learning & Development Practitioner, Children, Adults and Community Health - London Borough of Hackney

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