International Conference on Mental Health of Children and Adolescents
The definition of mental health by World Health Organization (2004) no longer states it as just as an absence of mental illness but also emphasizes on one’s mental wellbeing. It is stated as where a person is able to realize one’s strengths and weaknesses; able to cope with their stresses of life, and work productively and is able to contribute to their community. Looking back from 2013 and onwards, the WHO objectives of mental health related discussions across the globe have been mental health first-aid, mental health in workplaces, suicide prevention, mental health care for all, and mental health-wellbeing for all as a global priority. Through these objectives one can understand that there has been a gradual shift from mental illness to mental wellbeing. For the year 2023, the mental health objective stated by the WHO (2023) is to “raise awareness of mental health related concerns and to look for ways to mobilize efforts in support of mental health”. The objective highlights the need for discussions among key stakeholders working for promoting and practicing mental health-wellbeing using various therapeutic approaches.
Keeping this objective in purview, BUTTERFLIES (India) along with UYISENGA NI IMANZI (Rwanda) and CHILDLINK (Guyana) have conducted action research on specific therapeutic approaches on mental health-wellbeing of children and adolescents, in crisis. The findings of the study will be shared at the conference.
In the last couple of years, various micro and macro studies have highlighted aggravating issues surrounding technology, social media, and online abuse/cyber-bullying affecting children and adolescents’ mental and emotional wellbeing. With this studied understanding, it is an opportune time for us to organize an International Mental Health Conference, where mental health professionals, academicians and practitioners, from across Asia, Africa and Caribbean regions will share their insights in mobilizing efforts in support of mental health-wellbeing of children, adolescents and young people and plan together a way forward to achieve the global mental health objective.
An interdisciplinary discourse by mental health professionals, practitioners, academicians and media to gain an in-depth understanding on mental health of children and adolescents.
- Global Therapeutic Approaches Promoting Mental Health-wellbeing
- Technology, Media and its Impact on Mental Health
- Mental health in Educational Systems vis-a-vis families, schools and communities
- Mental Health- a part of Public Health
Special Session- Poster Presentation
The International Conference will be held on 9th, 10th and 11th of May 2023. On the first day, the panels will discuss the concept of mental health from the lens of holistic health and wellbeing wherein mental health-wellbeing is seen as essential for living a healthier life despite failures, coping with the regular life stresses, working productively and satisfactorily, with balanced interpersonal relationships with peers, family and community. The panel discussions will also deliberate on some of the therapeutic approaches practiced in India and elsewhere, which have been able to promote mental health-wellbeing in the lives of children, adolescents and their families. The therapeutic approaches which will be discussed are Social Casework, Narrative Art therapy, Psycho-social therapy, Sports, Play & Art therapy etc.
On the second day, panels will discuss the critical issues concerned with the safety and mental health-wellbeing of children, adolescents and young people. One of the panel discussions will highlight the significant findings of an empirical study on sexual violence against boys carried out in Philippines, Cambodia, Nepal and India. The panel will share insights on raising awareness, need for accentuating dialogue and advocacy with the key stakeholders, to put in place programmes and services for boys experiencing sexual violence. Second panel will discuss on the impact of internet, social media and experiences of online abuse on mental health of children, adolescents and young people and the importance of digital safety. Through the discussion, preventive strategies to strengthen online digital safety and support services for overcoming internet addiction and experiences of abuse on online digital spaces will be emphasized.
On the third day, the panel discussion will elaborate the relation and functions of educational systems vis-à-vis school, family and community in mobilizing efforts in support of mental health of children and adolescents. Highlighting mental health-wellbeing as a public health concern to be addressed through preventive and promotive measures. Every year, mental health-wellbeing issues cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion (WHO, 2023).
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