Hundreds came out to support the launch of the Alex Panton Foundation 2 recent events, the ‘Hidden’ short-film movie premiere and a Youth Mental Health symposium.
“We are so incredibly grateful for the support that the community has shown,” Alex Panton Foundation chairman, Jane Panton, said.
“It proves that the rest of Cayman also feels as passionately as we do about changing the narrative around mental illness, and how much we all want to make our island better for the children, teens and young adults dealing with depression and anxiety,” she said.
Close to 400 people watched ‘Hidden’, over 2 viewings, on Thursday February 8th. Both viewings of the film were followed by a Q&A session with Dr Erica Lam, Clinical Psychologist.
“I was beyond thrilled by the outcome,” writer of Hidden, Kaylyn Bodden, said. “I couldn’t believe how many people showed up for the cause – whether it was because they knew me, knew the Panton family, or knew Alex personally, the response was incredible.”
“I am still so overwhelmed by the positive feedback. People were really able to relate to the characters – which was my goal when writing it,” Miss Bodden said.
Close to 300 people attended a Youth Mental Health symposium on Saturday February 10, to learn more about mental illness in Cayman’s youth and young adults at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort. Speakers included mental illness survivors and their families as well as counsellors and medical professionals.
“Having that many people come out to learn more about the Foundation makes it clear that Cayman is ready for a change in the way we help those in our community dealing with mental illness,” Mrs. Panton said. “It solidifies how important our mission of improving the mental health of children and young adults in the Cayman Islands, is to everyone on our islands.”
The symposium also served as an opportunity for the foundation to achieve one of their main objectives: to provide information on the organisations and groups available on island for those either dealing with mental illness or supporting a loved one who is.
“We are so happy to be able to start building these partnerships with groups such as Loud Silent Voices and the Taya Lounge, as they have already done so much for the community” Mrs. Panton said. “It is important for us work together with these types of organisations and help to continue to develop the work that they have already done.”
Next steps for the foundation include working to collect meaningful data about the current standing of mental illness in Cayman’s youth as well as information on what sort of support they need, in order to help direct the future initiatives of foundation.
Those looking for more information on the Alex Panton Foundation, can follow them on Facebook and Instagram as well as www.alexpantonfoundation.ky. Presentations from the symposium will be uploaded on to the website shortly.