The aim of the event was to celebrate the work of the mental health sector in 2022. Discussions centred around three themes:
- Housing and Mental Health – the case for change, moderated by Rory Hearne, Assistant Professor of Social Policy, NUIMaynooth
- Protecting the Mental Health of Future Generations, moderated by Berni Smyth, CEO of KDYS
- Responsive Mental Health in an era of Global Displacement, moderated by Roisin Clarke, interim CEO of Mental Health Reform.
Guest speakers who engaged in the discussion on the future of youth mental health which was moderated by Berni Smyth, CEO of KDYS were Dr Niall Muldoon – the Ombudsman for Children, John Keogh – CEO of the ISPCC, Bernie Keogh – Executive Director of Lust for Life and Niamh Fennell – Youth Ambassador with Jigsaw.
This insightful discussion examined learning gained during the pandemic, the need to ensure that mental health services for young people are age-appropriate and coordinated and panellists shared the view that services need to fit young people not the other way around.
Panellists also spoke about the value of safe spaces for young people to meet and early intervention and prevention for young people including teaching young people to recognise and communicate about their emotions from a young age.