Under the theme ‘Empowering Youth. Inspiring Hope”, this year’s Alex Panton Foundation Symposium will discuss various tools to assist young adults suffering with mental health issues in the Cayman Islands.
The Foundation has announced this year’s keynote speaker will be Kevin Ashworth, Clinical Director of the NW Anxiety Institute based in Portland Oregon, who will discuss exposure therapy; a cognitive-behavioural approach designed to reduce symptoms of anxiety and empower individuals to conquer their fears. Mr Ashworth said, “It is an honor and privilege to have received the invitation to provide the keynote at the symposium. I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge of anxiety disorders and exposure therapy with the participants,” of this important event.
The presentation will provide a unique and nuanced perspective on how to empower our youth with empathy and without accommodating their anxiety. Mr Ashworth said “Learning to move toward discomfort is a necessary component in developing competence and confidence.”
Dr Marc Lockhart, Chairman of the Mental Commission will give a presentation titled, ‘5 Myths about the Adolescent Brain: Empowering Youth with Information.’
Dr Catherine Day and Dr Xenia Goddard will focus on the Zippy & Apples social literacy programme recently launched by the Alex Panton Foundation. This is a school based programme for children to help them develop skills in communication and manage their emotions effectively.
Attendees will also have the chance to hear directly from youth leaders involved in the Alex Panton Foundation Youth Ambassador Programme who will take part in a panel discussion, moderated by Dr Colleen Brown and Bill LaMonte.
The Youth Ambassador Programme (YAP) was created by the Foundation to promote interpersonal and life skills and designed to validate what young people are experiencing, recognise their strengths and connect them with other resources if needed.
The objective of the programme is to provide support to the youth of Cayman who experience mental health challenges, in particular anxiety and depression, in a way that builds resilience, inspires hope and a ‘way forward.’ YAP hopes to motivate young people to offer peer support with compassion, understanding and active listening.
The Symposium will take place on February 22 at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman 12:00pm – 5:00pm.
For more details and to register for the 3rd annual Youth Mental Health Symposium head over to alexpantonfoundation.ky.
The symposium is made possible thanks to speakers and volunteers as well as Burger King, Hurley’s Media, Tower and Health City.