Plans are well underway for a two-day convention this fall. About 300 people are expected to gather at the John D. Bradley Convention Centre this October to discuss children’s mental health. The Oct. 21-22 event is entitled “You, Him, Her and Me – Children’s Mental Health Affects Everyone,” and is being sponsored by the Make Children Better Now Children’s Association. Here Marg Beintema (seated) and, form left, Becky Johnstone, Jennifer Field and Kassya Kevany go over plans for the event.
About 300 people are expected to gather at the John D. Bradley Convention Centre this October to discuss children’s mental health.
The two-day event (Oct. 21-22) is entitled “You, Him, Her and Me – Children’s Mental Health Affects Everyone,” and is being sponsored by the Make Children Better Now Children’s Association.
Organizer Mike Neuts said the aim of the event is to take advantage of the growing knowledge of children’s mental health issues and begin to put that knowledge into practice.
“We are finally beginning to accept and understand that there are mental health issues in childhood that, left untreated, will cause problems for all of society,” he said. “There’s a clear belief that early intervention and treatment for a physical disease makes sense, but we’ve been slow to realize that the same process applies for anyone experiencing mental illness.”
Neuts said the summit aims to focus on a number of key children’s mental health issues currently impacting children, families, schools and communities in Canada.
It aims to bring together service providers, policy makers, mental health professionals, educators, clinicians, researchers, youth and family caregivers to share experiences and ideas.
The event will feature 11 prominent speakers from across Canada on a variety of mental health issues as well as a youth panel on the topic.
“We have a ‘big city’ lineup of speakers because with the limited resources most groups have, sending staff to conferences is a major expense,” he said. “We want the summit to be useful so that everyone who attends has something to take away with them.”
The lineup includes Dr. Leena Augumere, who will discuss disruptive behavior and self-control; Dr. Jean Clinton, speaking on the developing brain and children’s mental health; retired Ontario Court of Justice judge Anne Marie Hourigan discussing issues from justice to education; and Perry Mason on topics ranging from policing to restorative justice.
Dr. Karen Minden will provide information on addiction; Donald Nicholls will discuss aboriginal children’s mental health; Dr. Debra Pepler will provide insight on bullying and healthy relationships; Paula Reaume-Zimmer will speak about Access Canada in Chatham-Kent; and Dr. Marjorie Phillips will speak on learning disabilities and mental health.
Carol Todd will speak about her daughter, Amanda, and the topic of cyber bullying and suicide, while Mike Neuts will speak on his late son Myles and mental health, a parent’s perspective.
The event is being held in partnership with Employment Ontario, the government of Ontario, Chatham-Kent Childrens’ Services, the Chatham-Kent Police Service, PrevNet and the Child Development Institute.
For more information, contact conference planners Marg Beintema at 519-358-1451 ext. 2240 or Kassya Kevany at ext. 2247.