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Speakers Announced for 2nd Annual Youth Mental Symposium

Speakers Announced for 2nd Annual Youth Mental Symposium
08 February 2019, 05:36 AM

An impressive line-up of speakers will take to the stage at the 2nd annual Youth Mental Health Symposium taking place in the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort on Saturday February 23rd.

The speakers will come together to discuss a shared vision for Cayman’s children and young adults dealing with mental health issues, under the theme ‘Addressing Our Past, Supporting Our Future.’

Dr Erica Lam, Clinical and Education committee lead at the Alex Panton Foundation, will be announcing results from the 2018 ‘Cayman Islands Student Drug Use’ survey, which also focused on mental health issues as part of a collaboration between the foundation and the National Drug Council on their 2018 biennial survey.

The ‘Addressing our Past’ presentation will share the first nationally representative data on mental health issues experienced by children and young adults here in Cayman.

Speaking on the recent results, Dr Erica Lam, said;

‘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 survey 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.

Moderated by Lizzette Yearwood, Clinical and Education committee member of the Alex Panton Foundation, panellists include; Dr Gerardo Ocho, professor from St. Matthew’s University, Paulinda Mendoza-Williams, Director of the Department of Children and Family Services, Shannon Seymour, Owner/Psychologist of the Wellness Centre, Natalie Baldwin, LMSW, coordinator at the Taya Lounge and Terry Delaney, Private Practice Counsellor.

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

Dr Marc Lockhart, Chairman of the Mental Commission will conclude the day with a presentation on ‘Child and Adolescent Urgent Medical Health Services’ and outline how the Mental Health Commission is supporting the youth of Cayman. Speaking on the symposium, Jane Panton, Chairperson of the Alex Panton Foundation, said:

“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 on February 23 at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort 9:00am – 3:00pm.

For more details and to register for the 2nd annual Youth Mental Health Symposium head over to

The symposium is made possible thanks to speakers and volunteers as well as sponsors Ironshore Pharmaceuticals and Development; Cayman Prep and High School; the Ministry of Community Affairs; Tower and Hurley’s Media.