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GWI announced the first Children’s Mental Health Symposium

The Global Wellness Institute’s (GWI) Wellness for Children Initiative announces the inaugural Children’s Mental Health Symposium to be held at Junior Genius Childcare in Dublin, Ireland. The two-day event will bring world renowned experts to speak to an audience of parents, caregivers, teachers, medical professionals, and government officials.

Children’s Mental Health Statistics:

More than one in 10 primary school children aged five to 10 has an identifiable mental health condition – that’s around three children in every class. Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, UK (2023)

Despite demand for support, median government expenditure on mental health globally is a mere 2.1 per cent of the median government expenditure on health in general. The State of the World’s Children, UNICEF (2021)

Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15 to 29-year-olds. World Health Organization (2021)

“Most potential mental health problems will not become mental health problems if we respond to them early.” Center of the Developing Child, Harvard University

The Children’s Mental Health Symposium will offer actionable solutions for children both at home and at school. We are delighted to have 2 keynote speakers, Sergio Pecorelli, MD, PhD, surgeon, researcher and Co-Founder of The First 1,000 days (about 2 and a half years) of life and Deborah McNelis, MEd, Author, Speaker, creator of Neuro–Nurturing and Brain Insights. Other speakers and honored attendees will include three recipients of the Debra Simon Award for Leader in Furthering Mental Wellness from the Global Wellness Summit.

It is fitting that the symposium would be held at a first-of-its-kind school in Ireland– staffed with a dedicated wellness team and following a curriculum based on the science and understanding of the importance of creating healthy habits in the formative years. The program features a forest school, green houses, a kitchen with two full-time cooks and a music program guided by Myndstream and its founder, Freddie Moross. In fact, in July of 2022 Junior Genius was involved in an observational study including 40 children using specific playlists for sleep, relaxation, play and focus. Sharing positive outcomes, the program was subsequently filmed as part of “In Pursuit of Wellness: The Art & Science of Living Well,” the extraordinary new series of films and stories produced for the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) by BBC StoryWorks Commercial Productions.

The global mental health crisis of our young children is unprecedented and continues to be a challenge with a significant increase in anxiety and depression since the pandemic. The Wellness for Children Initiative worked with Junior Genius Global during lockdown to create a variety of wellness activities for children and their families to enjoy a routine and develop new healthy habits. Some of these activities included: breathwork, massage, yoga, cooking, reading, and listening to music. The Home Wellness Collection was launched because of this collaboration and will be available to review at the symposium in May.

The chair of the GWI Wellness for Children Initiative, Christine Clinton, co- vice chairs Stephanie Rest and Deborah Wilson, along with advisory board members Connie Morris and Dr. Donna Volpitta will also share their expertise and facilitate interactive panels, breakout groups with a specific focus on brain science, sleep, nutrition, autism in the classroom, music as medicine, preconception health and wellness at home. Our goal is that every attendee will leave the Symposium with helpful resources to support the mental health of their children. “We are honored to have some of the leading minds in mental health come together to share their insights, their experience and best practices with parents, teachers and government agencies to support the wellbeing of our children,” says chair, Christine Clinton. “We have guest speakers, interactive panels, breakout groups with a specific focus on topics such as sleep, nutrition, autism in the classroom, music as medicine, ADHD, preconception health and wellness at home.”

“The GWI supports our initiatives related to wellness, bringing awareness to a variety of sectors, and we are excited for this inaugural Symposium, that will offer tools for children to improve their mental health”, said Susie Ellis, chair, and CEO of the Global Wellness Institute.

The event will be recorded and available for purchase to be viewed at any time virtually. Early bird pricing will be available for the event until March 18th at Events — Global Wellness (globalwellnessforchildren.com).

About GWI’s Wellness for Children Initiative

The Wellness for Children Initiative, is a resource of the Global Wellness Institute (GWI) a nonprofit organization with a mission to empower wellness worldwide by educating public and private sectors about preventative health and wellness. The initiative’s members are passionate in the belief that education is key to long-term health and wellness. By reaching children in the formative years and teaching them the benefits of being healthy, we begin to reduce the risk of childhood obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. An age appropriate, region specific and culturally sensitive approach will be the winning strategy for this initiative. Initiative founding members include: Christine Clinton, Stephanie Rest, Deborah Wilson, Connie Morris, Deborah McNelis, Donna Volpitta.


Author: Fabiola