The Fifth Annual Children’s Mental Health Summit, hosted by Canopy Children’s Solutions in conjunction with the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, took place today at the Jackson Hilton Hotel.
The theme for the event was Every Child Can Be a Success: Creating Positive Outcomes. Mississippi First Lady Deborah Bryant, the honorary chair for the Summit, opened the conference sharing her recent experience in Wisconsin with other “first spouses” learning about Trauma Informed Care and how it effects a child’s ability to cope and heal. Mrs. Bryant, along with 17 other first spouses, were recognized yesterday in Washington D.C. by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration for their commitment to supporting children’s mental health and trauma-informed care principles during an event in honor of National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.
The Summit also featured Scott D. Miller, Ph.D., of the International Center for Clinical Excellence as keynote speaker. He said he was there to talk with clinicians about deliberate practice.
“What they do works extremely well. That should be the message to all of the users of the service, but in order for clinicians to get better they have to do the same thing that pilots do,” said Dr. Miller. “Pilots spend a great deal of time in training and in practice scenarios where they’re pushed beyond what they’re currently capable of doing and when they do deliberate practice our research shows that clinicians outcomes improve at the same rate as elite athletes outcomes improve when they do similar kinds of practice.”
In addition to the keynote, Canopy was pleased to welcome speakers Teresa R. Mosely, M.Ed, and Nick Hughes, M. Div., who shared their personal testaments of triumph over tragedy.
John Damon, the CEO of Canopy Children’s Solutions, said one in five kids have a significant mental health challenge, but 80% of those kids never get help.
“Parents are the experts of their kids and so if they see something different in their kids behavior, in the way they’re acting, the way they’re relating at home, with friends and at school they need to take action,” said Damon. “If your kids inner ear was hurting, you take them to the pediatrician.”
He said we need to lift the stigma of mental health and get help for it just like we would for physical health.