Closing Plenary; Children’s Mental Health State of Emergency: A Global Perspective

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated negative trends in the mental and behavioral health status of children and adolescents worldwide, leading UNICEF to, for the first time, examine mental health in the report The State of the World’s Children 2021. Advocates and experts in multiple countries have declared national emergencies as doctors and children’s hospitals have noted significant increases in youth mental health emergency room visits and increased rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide. Therapists, educators, peer support specialists, counselors, and other direct care professionals like you, are on the front lines of addressing this crisis to ensure children have access to the right treatment at the right time. Join the conversation to hear examples from an international panel of what is happening on the ground, and engage in the collective, urgent effort to share effective policies, practices, and resources that can turn the tide for young people’s mental well-being.


Lisette Burton, J.D.

Chief Policy and Practice Advisor , ACRC

Jedaia Rose Doñoz

Therapeutic Aftercare and Advocacy Manager , My Refuge House; Philippines


Martin Stabrey

Chief Operations Officer & Managing Editor , CYC-Net and The CYC-Net Press; South Africa


Simon Walsh

Chief Executive Director , Allambi Care; Australia


Anat Zeira, Ph.D

Professor at School of Social Work and Social Welfare , Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Israel


Sigrid James, Ph.D, MSW

Professor , University of Kassel; Germany


Heidi Baskfield, JD

Vice President, Population Health & Advocacy , Children’s Hospital Colorado