(CMR) The Alex Panton Foundation (APF) has announced that the 2024 Youth Mental Health Symposium will be held on Saturday, 17 February, from 10 am to 4 pm at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.
The 7th annual event returns with the theme “Building Bridges: Acceptance, Belonging, and the Power of Connection.”
According to the APF, creating an environment of belonging, acceptance, and connection is paramount for improving youth mental health. Positive social support networks, such as family, friends, and community, act as a crucial safety net against stress and loneliness, reducing the risk of anxiety and depression.
These connections contribute to the development of a positive identity, emotional regulation, and resilience, enabling young individuals to navigate the challenges of adolescence. A supportive social environment encourages help-seeking behavior, positive peer influence, and the development of healthy communication skills. Ultimately, fostering a sense of belonging provides a foundation for self-esteem, purpose, and well-being, positively shaping the mental health of our youth.
Organizers said, “The Symposium provides an opportunity for a crucial dialogue around how we can create such an environment for all the young people of the Cayman Islands, along with providing key takeaways and actionable outcomes for attendees.”
Jane Panton, Chairperson and Co-Founder of APF, said: “We take immense pride in the growth that the Alex Panton Foundation annual Symposium has achieved since its inception. The invaluable resources offered at the Symposium are a testament to our ongoing commitment, and we are delighted to provide this free event to the community.”
The agenda for this year's Symposium includes a diverse array of topics, engaging lunch activations, and interactive question-and-answer sessions, and attendees are encouraged to participate actively.
The Symposium provides a unique opportunity to connect with and learn from clinicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, and leaders within the mental health industry in the Cayman Islands, as well as parents, community leaders, and youth ambassadors.
Speakers include Her Excellency, Jane Owen, Governor of the Cayman Islands; Honorable Sabrina Turner, MP, Minister for Health, Wellness & Home Affairs; Dr. Chantal Basson, Alex’s Place, Cayman Islands Health Services Authority; Mirabelle D'Cunha, Mindfulness and Resilience Coach, Mirabelle D’Cunha Integrative Wellness; Dr. Stephanie Edwards, Educational Psychologist, Cayman Islands Department of Education Services; Shan Harriman, Chief Executive Officer, Inclusion Cayman; Dr. Tonya Holder, Consultant Psychiatrist, Cayman Islands Health Services Authority; Erin Kaufman, Alex Panton Foundation; Emily Kelly, Alex Panton Foundation; Derek Oliver, Counselor/Therapist, Infinite Mindcare; Jane Panton, Chairperson, Alex Panton Foundation; Dr. Shannon Seymour, Director & Psychologist, The Wellness Centre Ltd.; Monina Thompson, Youth Ambassador Leader, Alex Panton Foundation; Lizzette Yearwood, Alternate Deputy Chairperson and Director, Alex Panton Foundation.
For more information on this year’s speakers and their topics, visit the APF website at:
Spaces are limited. Anyone who might benefit from this event filled with meaningful information on mental health is advised to register as soon as possible in order to ensure that all attending can be accommodated.
Registration on the day will begin at 9:30 am.
APF extends thanks to this year’s generous sponsors for making this event possible.
Sponsors include Tower, Ministry of Health and Wellness, DMS Broadcasting, Health City Cayman Islands, Island Heritage, Health Services Authority, Infinite Mindcare, OceanMed, Healthy Futures, CG BritCay, Ironshore Pharmaceuticals and Development Inc, The Wellness Centre, Cinico, Ogier, Cayman Marl Road.