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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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V.I. Department of Health Holds Annual Children’s Mental Health Summit on St. Thomas

The V.I. Department of Health’s Maternal Child Health Division will hold its annual Children’s Mental Health Summit on St. Thomas, on Monday with key stakeholders to discuss challenges and solutions for healthy development, said the Virgin Islands Department of Health.

The summit begins with pediatric providers on Monday and continues on Tuesday with Children’s Mental Health Training for the Department of Health staff and its partners. This year’s theme is Nurturing Our Children’s Potential and Ambition, according to the press release.

“Children need to receive nurturing care to grow and develop optimally,” said Director of Maternal Child Division, Charmaine Mayers. “This means that they enjoy adequate nutrition and good health, feel safe and secure, and have opportunities for learning starting from birth.”

New to the summit this year is a teen presenter and a roundtable discussion with teens, said DOH.

“Young people’s good mental health is as important as their good physical health if they are to develop into independent and confident adults,” Mayers said. “Good mental health is an essential part of healthy adolescent development; it helps young people build positive social, emotional, thinking, and communication skills and behaviors. It also lays the foundation for better mental health and wellbeing later in life.”

The week’s activities also include the second annual Father/Son Basketball Game at 6 p.m. on Thursday at the University of the V.I. Sports & Fitness Center. On Friday a Mental Health Awareness Concert will be held from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., at Yacht Haven Grande. The events are free to the public, according to DOH.

The Children’s Mental Health Summit will also be held on St. Croix the week of July 24th, according to the press release.

“Nurturing in all aspects – emotional, psychological, physiological and spiritual, the whole child, is so important to bringing out the best in them,” said V.I. Health Commissioner Justa “Tita” Encarnacion. “This means giving them the right tools so that they can function well at home, in school, and in their communities.”

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