Honoring Our Heritage, Nurturing Our Mental Health: A Black History Month Reflection
By Jessica Orenstein As a young Black woman, this Black History Month feels particularly poignant. It’s a time when we celebrate the richness of our ...
John MacPhee, CEO of The Jed Foundation (JED), joined researchers, activists, and experts from around the world in June for the 2023 Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Nostos Conference in Greece. Hosted by the SNF, an organization that funds international nonprofits in the arts, education, and healthcare, this year’s conference sought to explore mental health as “comprehensively and intelligibly as possible” during the two-day event.
The conference welcomed influential voices and world leaders including former President Barack Obama; Glenn Close, Co-Founder of Bring Change to Mind; Goldie Hawn, CEO of The Goldie Hawn Foundation | MindUP; and Harold S. Koplewicz, Founding President of the Child Mind Institute. This year, the illustrious cohort of guests came to discuss the state of youth mental health across the globe.
As moderator of the panel “Suicide Prevention: Protecting the Mental Health of Adolescents and Young Adults,” MacPhee discussed the importance of evidence-based suicide prevention methods in homes, schools, and communities worldwide.
“The primary point that we want to make is you can see across all of these countries that the suicide rate among the young, ages 15 to 24, is going up across the board,” said MacPhee. “The macro environment is incredibly stressful. Covid, climate change, safety and tensions around racism, school shootings [in the United States]: Young people are feeling enormous pressure.”
Joining him in the discussion were psychologist Flora Papitsi; Louisa Benton, Vice President & Executive Director of Hope for Depression Research Foundation; Amy L. Kennedy, Co-founder of The Kennedy Forum; and Paul Yip, Director of the HKJC Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention.
The event also brought together experts for sessions including: “The importance of early prevention and the global state of child and adolescent mental health,” “Ιncreasing access to quality child and adolescent mental health services globally,” and “The normalization of violence: the impact of gun violence on children and adolescents.”
SNF Nostos is a yearly international conference held at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. With a central theme determined each year, the conference addresses a variety of issues in arts and culture, education, health, sports, and social welfare.
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If this is a medical emergency or if there is immediate danger of harm, call 911 and explain that you need support for a mental health crisis.