Speakers set for youth mental health forum

| 11/02/2019
CNS Local Life
Jane Panton giving opening remarks at last year’s symposium

(CNS Local Life): The Alex Panton Foundation, which is organising its second annual Youth Mental Health Symposium, set for Saturday, 23 February, has announced the line-up of speakers, who will be discussing a shared vision for Cayman’s children and young adults dealing with mental health issues, under the theme “Addressing Our Past, Supporting Our Future”.

Clinical psychologist Dr Erica Lam, of the foundation’s clinical and education committee, will be announcing results from the National Drug Council’s biennial 2018 “Cayman Islands Student Drug Use” survey, which also focused on mental health issues as part of a collaboration between the two organisations.

The “Addressing our Past” presentation will share the first nationally representative data on mental health issues experienced by children and young adults in Cayman, a foundation press release stated.

Dr Lam said of the survey results: “We need to look at the past and current state of mental health issues in the Cayman Islands in order to work together to develop appropriate solutions for the future. For the first time we will be able to get a clear picture of what we are facing and what we need to do to make a significant difference.”

The results will also form important discussion points for the “Addressing our Future” speaker panel which will be joined by mental health experts who will outline and discuss services needed to support the future of mental health in Cayman, the release said.

Moderated by Lizzette Yearwood, CEO of the Health Services Authority and clinical and education committee member, panellists will include Dr Gerardo Ocho, St Matthew’s University professor; Paulinda Mendoza-Williams, Director of the Department of Children and Family Services; Shannon Seymour, owner/psychologist of the Wellness Centre; Natalie Baldwin, coordinator at the Taya Lounge of the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre; and Terry Delaney, a private practice counsellor.

Other speakers on the day will include Inspector Kevin Ashworth, of the RCIPS Family Support Unit, who will be addressing “Delinquency and Mental Health”, and Dr Colleen Brown, psychologist from On Course Cayman, who will discuss “Childhood Trauma and Mental Health”.

Dr Marc Lockhart, chairman of the Mental Health Commission, will conclude the day with a presentation on “Child and Adolescent Urgent Medical Health Services”, outlining how the commission is supporting the youth of Cayman. 

Jane Panton, chairperson of the Alex Panton Foundation, said of the upcoming symposium, “In order to make a significant difference in our small community we need all stakeholders to come together. The symposium is a great opportunity to make a positive difference to the local community and we are delighted with the support from everyone involved who have helped make the symposium happen.”

The symposium will take place at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort from 9am-3pm.

For more details and to register go to the Alex Panton Foundation website

Tags: ,

Category: Medical and Health, Youth

Comments (4)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Another thing, no one wants to even consider connection with physical and mental health. I don’t see anyone will be speaking about it.

    The Threat 5G Poses to Human Health. What you don’t know will alarm you.

    “…the Dutch ministry postponed its 5G-spectrum auction until 2020”

    “Radio-frequency pollution has been overlooked for its potential health effects on people. It’s not just the rollout of 5G networks that are a cause for concern. Extremely low frequencies from Wi-Fi routers, hotspots, and cellphones also pose a serious threat, particularly to children.”


  2. Anonymous says:

    I hope that all speakers and participants would read this article from Frontiers in Behavior Neuroscience. .8; 2014PMC4018537

    “Links between Circadian Rhythms and Psychiatric Disease ”

    >How Does Circadian Disruption Affect Neurobehavioral Function?
    >Links between Circadian Disruption and Psychiatric Disorders:
    Unfortunate Side Effect or Contributing Factor?

    “Determining the cause of psychiatric disorders is a goal of modern neuroscience, and will hopefully lead to the discovery of treatments to either prevent or alleviate the suffering caused by these diseases. One roadblock to attaining this goal is the realization that neuropsychiatric diseases are rarely due to a single gene polymorphism, environmental exposure, or developmental insult. Rather, it is a complex interaction between these various influences that likely leads to the development of clinically relevant syndromes”


  3. Anonymous says:

    This is a very important topic. Unfortunately zero comments so far. In comparison to 250 on LGBT marriage.
    I have few questions. What credentials in child development all participants have? Dr. Lockhart is a psychiatrist, but that doesn’t automatically makes him an expert.
    Not all suicides are commited by youth who were depressed. Depression is automatically qualified as a mental disorder. But it is not. There are other opinions about it. Lack of coping skills, social media influence, electronic games, screen time, blue light exposure after sunset are all facrors that influence child’s brain and mental state.
    So before labeling any child as depressed and medicating him, lets figure out what is really going on. For that, real experts are needed. Experts in Biophysics would paint a picture many never heard of. Precisely, how circadian rythm affects child’s mental state.
    We live in times when artificial environment has greater influence on human physiology and mental state. But we refuse to investigate it. Pills has never cured any disease, including mental.

    • Anonymous says:

      You make wonderful points and should attend the symposium and contribute, I am sure the organisers would be happy to have your input. You should also publish your info in the local press, parents need to be more clued in and schools need to do their part for anti-bullying etc.