Forum looks at youth mental health issues

| 31/01/2019
CNS Local Life
Jane Panton giving opening remarks at last year’s symposium

(CNS Local Life): The second annual Youth Mental Health Symposium, set for Saturday, 23 February, will explore the state of mental health in the Cayman Islands and provide recommendations on improvements. Themed “Addressing Our Past, Supporting Our Future”, the conference is organised by the non-profit Alex Panton Foundation, which aims to raise awareness of mental illnesses, in particular anxiety and depression, affecting children and young adults in Cayman.

The foundation was established in memory of Alex Panton, who succumbed to the effects of severe depression at age 16.

Jane Panton, foundation chairperson and mother of Alex, said of the upcoming forum, “After the tremendous turnout for our inaugural Youth Mental Health Symposium and other events in 2018, we know youth mental health is something that the local community is very passionate about addressing. Hosting this symposium each year will help continue this important conversation in our community.”

The symposium, which takes at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort from 1pm-5pm, aims to explore mental health from a diverse point of view, while ensuring that children and young adults dealing with mental health issues are at the heart of the conversation, stated a press release.

The foundation collaborated with the National Drug Council on their 2018 biennial survey “Cayman Islands Student Drug Use”. The results from the survey, which also focussed on youth mental health issues, will be disclosed in the opening keynote presentation and form discussion points on a series of topics surrounding risk factors of mental health, the release said.

Panton said of this cooperation: “Last year we announced that we would be collaborating with the National Drug Council on their 2018 survey in order to collect the first nationally representative data on how children and young adults, on our islands, are coping with mental health issues as well as what they know about the resources available to them.

“We are thrilled to be able to share the results of this survey with the general public and to discuss both where we are currently and the next steps we need to take, as medical professionals, parents, carers and a community, in order to improve the services available for those struggling with mental health issues.”

For more information and to register for the symposium, go to the Alex Panton Foundation website

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Category: Medical and Health, Youth

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Empry talks without understanding the problem (s).