Lineup named for mental health symposium

Organizers have announced the lineup of speakers for the second annual Youth Mental Health Symposium, which will take place at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort on Saturday, Feb. 23.

The symposium will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the group will discuss the future of Cayman’s children and young adults dealing with mental health issues.

The symposium, the theme of which is “Addressing Our Past, Supporting Our Future,” will include the first nationally representative data on mental health issues experienced by children and young adults in the Cayman Islands.

Dr. Erica Lam, clinical and education committee lead at the Alex Panton Foundation, will announce results from the 2018 Cayman Islands Student Drug Use survey.

“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,” said Dr. Lam. “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.”

A panel of speakers, moderated by Health Services Authority CEO Lizzette Yearwood, will be joined by mental health experts who will outline services needed to support the future of mental health in Cayman.

Panelists will include professor at St. Matthew’s University, Gerardo Ochoa-Vargas; Paulinda Mendoza-Williams, director of the Department of Children and Family Services; Shannon Seymour, owner and psychologist at the Wellness Centre; licensed social worker Natalie Baldwin; and private practice counselor Terry Delaney. Other speakers will include police inspector Kevin Ashworth of the RCIPS Family Support Unit and Dr. Colleen Brown, a psychologist from On Course Cayman.

The day will conclude with a presentation from Dr. Marc Lockhart, chairman of the mental commission, who will speak about “Child and Adolescent Urgent Medical Health Services.”

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