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PESI UK Announces Free Children and Young People’s Mental Health Summit

What psychological impact are the coronavirus and racism crises having on young people? Ahead of school reopenings, PESI UK is announcing a three-day online Children and Young People’s Mental Health Summit from August 26-28. Titled ‘Empowering young people with resiliency to thrive during times of stress and uncertainty’, the summit will bring together leading voices including Peter Levine, Stephen Porges and Nicholas Kardaras – and it’s all completely free.


Amid the profound uncertainty Covid-19 has brought to our daily lives, one question is being asked with particular persistence: what is all this doing to our children?

Young people may, on current evidence, be less susceptible to the coronavirus itself. But the psychological effects of the pandemic are likely to be impacting their mental health in ways no government briefing is geared to report – and which data may not capture for many years to come.

School closures and social distancing have caused dramatic disruption to children’s routines and relationships. In the home, families are under severe economic and emotional strain, and divorce and domestic violence are on the rise. Beyond the home, support services for the most vulnerable young people, and those with additional needs, have been cut or compromised.

Meanwhile, children are struggling to process an unprecedented global pandemic that has proved tough enough for adults to get their heads around.

And of course this is not the only crisis. As the Black Lives Matter posters put it, our children are also living through a pandemic of racism. In the wake of the brutal killing of George Floyd, and the protests that followed, any exploration of young people’s mental health needs to factor in the reality of systemic racial injustice.

How can we help children make sense of the world in 2020? What can we do to repair the rupture of lockdown, and to better support children from communities of colour? Which particular risks and vulnerabilities should we be alert to among young people, and why might some be responding so differently to others?

This August, PESI UK is inviting you to consider these and other pressing questions in the company of leading international voices in children’s mental health.

Timed to coincide with the easing of restrictions and reopening of schools, our Children’s and Young People’s Mental Health Summit: Empowering young people with resiliency to thrive during times of stress and uncertainty, will take place online from August 26-28.

It will be a chance for you and your colleagues to access specially delivered talks addressing the key psychological issues around Covid-19, racism and young people.

And it will be completely free to attend!

You’ll learn from Peter Levine about how children adapt to traumatic experiences. You’ll hear from Stephen Porges, the developer of Polyvagal Theory, about the way young people’s nervous systems respond to safety and threat. And you’ll pick up insights and tools for supporting parents through crises from Internal Family Systems therapist, Alexia Rothman. There will also be discussions focused on young people and gaming, Autistic spectrum conditions and ADHD, the interplay between experiences of racism and developmental trauma, and the future for mental health in schools.

The government’s approach to lockdown may have thrown responsibility back on nuclear households. But children’s wellbeing is our collective concern. Whether you are a practitioner, teacher, parent/guardian, or simply interested in how we can support the psychological health of future generations, we hope you will join us from August 26 onwards for world-class resourcing and reflecting.

See below for the full line-up. To register and for more information about the focus of each event click here. We have to limit the capacity for these online events to 5,000 – so we advise advance booking to avoid disappointment. 

PESI UK Children’s and Young People’s Mental Health Summit, August 26-28: The line-up

  • Peter Levine, PhD: Trauma and Children
  • Stephen Porges, PhD: Polyvagal Theory
  • Prof. Tony Attwood: Autistic Spectrum Conditions and ADHD
  • Eboni Webb PsyD: Racial Trauma and Identity
  • Christina Reese, PhD: Attachment Trauma
  • Nicholas Kardaras, PhD: Children and Gaming Addiction
  • Alexia Rothman, PhD: IFS and Parenting
  • Janine Halloran: Channelling and Normalising Big Emotions in Times of Uncertainty

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