Mental health of youth to be highlighted at fair

Wednesday 1 May 2024: On Thursday 9 May, the Child and Adolescent Services team at Bermuda Hospitals Board will host its second annual Children’s Mental Health Awareness Fair. Organisers aim to educate middle and high-school students about services available to help them with a variety of mental health concerns, while exposing them to potential careers in the field.

Child and Adolescent Services Clinical Manager Vakita Basden said: “In 2023, our multidisciplinary team provided services to 296 children and adolescents on the island in more than 2,000 appointments.

“The most common disorders among our clients are attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression.”

The 9 May fair will be held at Bermuda College from 10am to 1pm and will include partners from Solstice, Bermuda College and the Department of Education.

“Children’s mental health matters because it shapes their present wellbeing, future prospects and the broader fabric of society,” says Mrs Basden. “By prioritising mental health support and resources for our youth, we can foster healthier, happier individuals and communities for generations to come.”

According to the 2021 World Health Organization (WHO) Report, one out of seven adolescents experienced mental illness globally that year. The report also lists suicide as the fourth leading cause of death for people between 15 and 29 years old. Depression, anxiety and behavioural disorders are listed as the leading cause of mental illness among adolescents.

Jascinth Albouy-Onyia, BHB’s assistant clinical director of mental health, said: “We believe that children have the unique ability to thrive in the face of adversity, with each new day presenting an opportunity for growth and change.

“We provide services to families and their children who are 4 to 18 years old and have a moderate to severe presentation of mental health symptoms that impact their social, vocational and educational functioning.

“We provide our clients with sessions in locales that best meet their needs. Some are seen in the department for their appointments, some in other locations. We always aim to meet their needs and respect their right to privacy”.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health and the World Health Organization, children’s mental health is profoundly important because it impacts lifelong wellbeing, academic success, social development, physical health, long-term outcomes, family dynamics and community wellbeing.

More information about Child and Adolescent Services is available by calling 239-6344 or emailing cas.referrals@bhb.bm.

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Notes to Editors
The Bermuda Hospitals Board is a quango (quasi autonomous non-governmental organisation) established under the Bermuda Hospitals Board Act, 1970. It has a Bermuda Government-approved Board and a Chief Executive Officer, responsible for King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute. At the heart of both organisations is high-quality care to all patients.

With approximately 1,700 employees, the Bermuda Hospitals Board is Bermuda's second largest employer. King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute are the only healthcare organisations in Bermuda accredited by Accreditation Canada, an independent organisation whose role is to help hospitals examine and improve the quality of care and service they provide to their clients. In addition to providing an extensive list of services for the community, the Bermuda Hospitals Board is part of a referral network that includes some of the world's leading specialist hospitals.

For more information, please visit www.bermudahospitals.bm or contact the Bermuda Hospitals Board Public Relations Department at publicrelations@bhb.bm.