Plenary Speakers

Rafi Armanto

Rafi Armanto

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Carolina Bermudez

CAROLINA BERMÚDEZ

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Niall Boyce

Niall Boyce

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Eric Y.H. Chen, MD

Eric Y.H. Chen, MD

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Henriette Grundtmann

HENRIETTE GRUNDTMANN

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Te Manaia Jennings

TE MANAIA JENNINGS

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Raj Mariwala

RAJ MARIWALA

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Dr Ashley Nemiro

DR. ASHLEY NEMIRO

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Professor Vikram Patel

PROFESSOR VIKRAM PATEL

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Dr Kyleigh Schraeder

DR. KYLEIGH SCHRAEDER

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Dr Magenta Simmons

DR. MAGENTA SIMMONS

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Jason Trethowan

Jason Trethowan

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Dontay Williams

Dontay Williams

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Rafi Armanto

Rafi Armanto

Rafi is a senior peer worker and project officer at Orygen who oversees a team of online peer workers on Orygen’s Moderated Online Social Therapy (MOST) as well as coordinates international student mental health peer work projects for education providers in Victoria, Australia. Within his roles Rafi supervises peer workers, provides input in the development of service delivery models for peer work, delivers workforce training and develops training resources for peer workers. Rafi is trained in intentional peer work principles which ensure that peer work projects are informed by best practice and conducted through the lens of lived experience.

My passion for lived experience within mental health comes from my own experience of help seeking and accessing support. Within the communities that I existed in, mental health concepts were stigmatised and not widely discussed. My diagnoses of mental ill health were met by family and friends with fear and anxiety rather than hope and optimism. By chance I came across peer work which gave meaning to my experiences and gave me an opportunity to be someone that I wished I had when I was seeking help.

I now dedicate my professional life to promoting the importance of peer work and lived experience work within youth mental health contexts. I continue to be interested in this work to ensure that peer work programs and lived experience is implemented thoughtfully within organisations and that the voices of consumers and lived experience workers are represented and respected.

Carolina Bermudez

CAROLINA BERMÚDEZ

My name is Carolina Bermúdez and I was born in Bogotá, Colombia 36 years ago. I currently work as the Program Manager for Kindred Foundation in Colombia, an NGO we created with a group of colleagues from Australia, with the aim of supporting communities in their quest for wellbeing and mental health. While establishing Kindred, I faced an episode of depression myself. This boosted my inner call to work on this topic and encouraged me to get better to share my experience with others.

I studied Anthropology and Philosophy, followed by a Master of Social Policy at the University of Melbourne. This has allowed me to work with Indigenous groups from Colombia and Australia, motivating me to reflect on different understandings of mental health and wellbeing. I have built a special interest on diverse approaches, exploring the intersections between spirituality, science and cultural logics. Thus, developing a strong conviction around the importance of articulating local knowledge, capacities and practices with services.

Projects have allowed me to live such intersections in practice. Currently I am part of the initiative: “Embracing the traditional and the western: indigenous youth’s pursuit to promote mental well-being”, aimed at supporting youth from Vaupés. It is funded by Grand Challenges Canada and implemented by the Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the Colombian Amazon. Also, years ago I supported the delivery of mental health workshops for young people in Bogotá as well as the consolidation of manuals for an NGO in Uganda that works with women suffering from depression. Moreover, we have recently been invited as Kindred to support Muisca Indigenous youth’ mental health; the Muisca being ancestral inhabitants of Bogotá.

Working with communities has allowed me to learn about the holistic and collective aspect of wellbeing and mental health, understanding us humans as integral and interconnected beings.

Niall Boyce

Niall Boyce

Niall Boyce studied medicine at Oxford University, and subsequently worked as a psychiatrist on the North London training scheme. From 2010 to 2014, he was a Senior Editor at The Lancet; in 2014, he founded The Lancet Psychiatry, which he edited until 2021. He is currently Head of Field Building with the Wellcome Mental Health team.

Eric Y.H. Chen, MD

Eric Y.H. Chen, MD

Professor Chen is Chi-li Pao Foundation Professor and Chair Professor of Department of Psychiatry at The University of Hong Kong. He has been leading the development of the early intervention for psychosis program in Hong Kong (the Hospital Authority EASY program is one of the first comprehensive early psychosis programs in Asia). Under his leadership, the HKU Psychosis Studies and Intervention Unit has been conducting key studies on schizophrenia and early psychosis. Studies have been published in over 400 papers in leading international journals including the British Medical Journal and the New England Journal of Medicine.

Internationally, Prof. Chen had served as Vice-President of the International Early Psychosis Association (with more than 2000 members worldwide) and the Foundation Chairman of the Asian Network for Early Psychosis (ANEP). He has also served on committees of prestigious international organizations such as the Schizophrenia International Research Society and the International Neuropsychiatric Association.

Prof. Chen is a recipient of The Richard J. Wyatt Award. The Richard J. Wyatt Award is awarded every two years at the International Early Psychosis Association Biennial Conference. It is awarded to an individual who has made a remarkable contribution to the area of early intervention.

Henriette Grundtmann

Henriette Grundtmann

My name is Henriette Grundtmann. I am 26 years old and live in Copenhagen, Denmark. I work as an assistant attorney mainly focusing on employment law, and in my spare time I volunteer at “The Social Network/ headspace”, where I give speeches about my own experiences regarding youth mental health.

During elementary school and high school, I was never made aware of the importance of mental health. We were told that it very important that we planned ahead, and we were given a ton of school projects about: what do you want to do next in regard to education and jobs? It was never a question of: how do you feel, or what will make you happy?

I was the straight-A-student who got an ulcer right before graduating high school because it was so important to get good grades. I was the law school-student who took three exams during a depression and daily anxiety attacks because taking a break was a failure.

I volunteer at “The Social Network / headspace” because I want to make sure that the Danish youth is told that it is okay to be vulnerable. I want them to know that mental illness is just as acceptable and normal as physical illness.

Of course, I cannot talk on the behalf of every young person in Denmark or just find a simple solution, but I believe that the first step must be asking the youth about what they experience and what solutions they imagine.

So, that is why I engage in youth mental health. I engage in youth mental health to bring the voice back to the youth. I engage to make sure that the youth, it actually regards, participates in setting the agenda.

Te Manaia Jennings

Te Manaia Jennings

Kia Ora

My name is Te Manaia and I am a Maori woman based in Rotorua, New Zealand. I am a student studying a Bachelor of Health Science in psychology as well as an visual artist. Art specifically painting for me is something that I have always been drawn to and I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to do that still. It has helped me specifically understand and navigate particularly challenging periods of my life such as my struggles with anxiety and depression. I think having had personal lived experiences with mental illness has really heightened my desire to want to help in that space and has made me more curious about understanding others, that is why I feel specifically drawn to study psychology. My overall aspirations in life is to help be a part of fixing the health inequities in the mental health space and also I think to empower people to heal in their own journeys with mental or physical difficulties, with a specific emphasise on creative arts as a tool to do so. I feel very grateful to have the opportunities to do many of these things and I don’t take it lightly.

Raj Mariwala

Raj Mariwala

Raj Mariwala is Director, Mariwala Health Initiative an advocacy, capacity building and grant-making organisation in India that focuses on mental health of marginalised communities. Other than drawing on lived experience of mental illness and a learning disability to inform work on mental health, Raj also has experience working on livelihoods and gender-sexuality. Currently, they serve on the advisory boards of the Lancet Commission on Stigma and Discrimination and Parcham, nonprofit that works with young marginalised women on human rights, equity and social justice. Raj is also a practicing canine and feline behaviourist.

Youth mental health, especially in LMIC contexts is critical to address – after all – today more than 30% of the world’s population is young people and 90% of that number resides in LMICs. Yet, the discourse around youth mental health is led by the global North. So, one interest area is what does youth-led, participatory work look like when led by diverse youth from historically marginalised backgrounds?

My other interest is in addressing the public health issue of youth suicide which was the fourth leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds globally in 2019. If we are to respond to this, what are the silos we must break out of to take a multisectoral approach that foregrounds agency and choice of young people across mental health, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), educational systems and livelihoods.

Finally, youth mental health is a key part of advocacy to change mental health systems – to focus on rights-based psychosocial approaches via building peer perspectives, capacities and networks not just amongst youth but also with family members and communities to enable young persons to access both physical and psychosocial support on their own terms as well as cede space for them to cope and heal.

Dr Ashley Nemiro

Dr. Ashley Nemiro

Dr. Ashley Nemiro has worked as a global mental health professional in humanitarian settings since 2011 following a career as a licensed family and school-based therapist and refugee resettlement coordinator. She received her doctorate from North Carolina State University where she spent three years travelling to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to conduct her dissertation research and run a non-profit alongside Congolese women. Ashley focuses on multi-sectoral mental health and psychosocial support programming to ensure children and families have access to prevention and management interventions and care. Ashley specialises in mental health and psychosocial support in education settings in humanitarian and fragile contexts, focusing on the wellbeing of students to improve learning outcomes and teacher wellbeing. She currently serves at the Acting Director of the Collaborative, hosted by Save the Children Denmark, where she leads a team, whose mission is to build connections, knowledge, and new ways to improve the mental health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in adversity.

Professor Vikram Patel

Professor Vikram Patel

Vikram Patel is The Pershing Square Professor of Global Health at the Harvard Medical School. He co-leads the [email protected] initiative. His work has focused on the burden of mental health problems, their association with social disadvantage, and the use of community resources for their prevention and treatment. He is a co-founder of the Centre for Global Mental Health (at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine) and Sangath, an Indian NGO which won the WHO Public Health Champion of India prize. He is a Fellow of the UK’s Academy of Medical Sciences and has served on the Committee which drafted India’s first National Mental Health Policy and the WHO High Level Independent Commission for NCDs. He co-led the Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health & Sustainable Development and the Lancet-World Psychiatric Association Commission on Depression; he serves as co-chair of the Lancet Citizens Commission on Reimagining India’s Health System. He has been awarded the Chalmers Medal, the Sarnat Prize, the Pardes Humanitarian Prize, the Klerman Senior Investigator Prize, an Honorary OBE and the John Dirk Canada Gairdner Award in Global Health. He has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from Georgetown University, York University, Stellenbosch University and the University of Amsterdam. He was listed in TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential persons of the year in 2015.

Dr Kyleigh Schraeder

Dr. Kyleigh Schraeder

Dr. Kyleigh Schraeder (Ph.D., R.Psych.) is a registered Clinical Psychologist in Alberta, Canada and Team Lead for Health Services Research and Implementation Science at the Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health, and Addiction at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). At CIHR, Kyleigh works closely with decision makers in government, non-governmental organizations, and researchers across Canada to identify knowledge gaps and support evidence-informed decision making in response to the mental health needs of Canadians. She contributes to the planning, development, and implementation and evaluation of strategic initiatives, funding opportunities, and knowledge mobilization efforts in the areas of health services research and implementation science, with a particular emphasis on youth mental health.

Kyleigh completed her MSc and PhD in Clinical Psychology at Western University in London, Ontario (Canada) and her pre-doctoral residency in Clinical Child and Pediatric Psychology at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary, Alberta. She received funding by the Canadian Child Health Clinician-Scientist Program and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute as a Postdoctoral Scholar from 2017 to 2020. She has published several peer-reviewed articles in the areas of access to mental health care, models of service delivery for youth and young adults, transitions in care, and the role of primary care. She is passionate about finding solutions to system-level barriers that impact the equitable access and uptake of mental health services among young people.

Dr Magenta Simmons

Dr. Magenta Simmons

Dr. Magenta Simmons is a Research Fellow in Evidence-Based Clinical Decision Making and the Youth Partnerships in Research Coordinator at Orygen. As the Youth Partnerships in Research Coordinator, Dr Simmons works with the Orygen Youth Research Council to promote youth participation across Orygen’s Research Division; putting young people at the centre of what research we undertake, the way in which conduct this research and our strategies for dissemination and translation. Her work focuses on how young people can be meaningfully involved as collaborators in research projects, as consumers in clinical decision making about their own care, and as peer workers supporting other consumers. Dr. Simmons has developed a number of online tools to support young people to make decisions about treatment for mental ill-health.

Jason Trethowan

Jason Trethowan

Jason Trethowan commenced as CEO of headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation in January 2017. Since then he has overseen an expansion of the headspace network of digital services for young people, school-based programs, and an ongoing commitment to 164 headspace centres nationally. With strengthened community and government support for headspace, Jason understands the importance of embedding and integrating national models of service delivery in communities to ensure all young people across Australia can benefit from headspace services in the areas of mental health, general health, work and study, and alcohol and other drugs.

Prior to working at headspace, Jason held previous CEO positions from 2007 which included being CEO of Western Victoria Primary Health Network.

Jason is also a Board Director of Barwon Health and Gforce Employment Solutions, and has achieved qualifications in Health Information Management, Health Informatics, and a Master’s in Business Administration.

Dontay Williams

Dontay Williams

Dontay Williams is a native of Philadelphia PA. He is recognized as a Licensed Professional Counselor for the state of GA and is a doctoral candidate at Mercer University. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Professional Counseling from Richmont Graduate University in Atlanta GA. His expertise includes certification as an Anger Management Specialist recognized by the National Board of Certified Counselors and training in topics of Spiritual Integration.

He has had the pleasure of working with both faith-based and nonprofit organizations, colleges and universities as well as various federal agencies. Through such involvements he has provided counseling services, crisis intervention, trauma recovery, research, career readiness training, and leadership development. His most recent venture has led him to the role of CEO for The Confess Project which is the first mental health movement that trains barbers to be mental health advocates and is recognized for its commitment to building a culture of mental health for Black boys, men, and their families.

Mr. Williams believes “The call to service is one which requires remarkable strength and equally important a spirit of humility. I believe one must possess the strength that allows the courage to sit within the alarming moments of another. Likewise, one must be humble enough to recognize their powerlessness to bring about change yet encouraged by his/her ability to facilitate it.”