WELCOME TO LEADING MINDS
THE CONFERENCE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
HIGHLIGHTS FROM LEADING MINDS 2019
The rich and powerful meet face-to-face on pressing economic and political issues several times each year. The time has come to convene to best and the brightest for children.
While many long-standing fundamental building blocks of child wellbeing – survival, nutrition, schools – are fast improving; a host of new and challenging issues – digital life, mental health, displacement – pose new and urgent threats to childhood.
Perhaps we can draw inspiration from the humanists of Renaissance Florence.
LEADING MINDS 2019 INAUGURAL THEME
With the aim of changing the game on mental health, UNICEF and WHO are co-hosting the inaugural Leading Minds for Children and Young People conference at the UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti in Florence, Italy. Leading Minds is UNICEF’s new annual global conference series – launched this year as the world celebrates 30 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child – to highlight burning issues affecting children and young people in the 21st century, and to formulate decisive action informed by scholars, scientists, governments, philanthropists, business, civil society and young people themselves.
WHY MENTAL HEALTH?
An alarming proportion of adolescents – 5-10 per cent in high-income countries, 15 per cent in low- and middle-income countries, attempt suicide. The global mental health crisis among the young can be likened to both the child survival crisis of the 1980s and the AIDS pandemic. Both triggered a global emergency response led by UN agencies and partners, backed by political commitment, mass interventions, sustained funding and public support.
LEADING MINDS 2019 PARTICIPANTS
To rise to the challenges facing childhood today, UNICEF is increasingly using the power of partnerships, convening experts, knowledge and power brokers, philanthropists, and young people themselves around burning issues that impact on the lives of children everywhere.
Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF and Tedros Adhanom, Director General of the World Health Organization will jointly convene the inaugural Leading Minds 2019 conference. Using the combined weight of the two largest and most important child health organizations, many of the world’s leading mental health experts and policy makers have committed to participation.
Many of the participants will be young people bringing tangible lived and learned experiences engaging in their communities on mental health issues. The young participants at Leading Minds 2019 are activists, innovators, advocates and supporters of peers coping with a wide range of mental health challenges.
Government Ministers, heads of national agencies, international organizations and multilateral agencies will contribute to the critical discussion of how to improve services, programmes and policies specifically targeted to addressing adolescent mental health.
Leading global researchers and practitioners working on child and adolescent mental health have committed to attend Leading Minds 2019. Representing the health care industry, universities, international organizations, the private sector and civil society, many of the best thinkers and creative innovators in the mental health sector will be on hand.
Key among the Leading Minds for 2019, this group will be decisive in leveraging not only resources and investment in mental health science but commitment from other foundations, philanthropists and power brokers to help shape and fund programmes, generate research and evidence and engage with youth for solutions.
Mental health conditions account for 16 per cent of the global burden of disease and injury among the world’s 1.2 billion adolescents (aged 10-19 years).
Changing the Game on Mental Health for Children and Young People
- Formation of a multi-stakeholder Task Team to co-create the Global Alliance for Healthy Young Minds that would ideally be launched before Leading Minds 2020 to demonstrate the conference’s ability to truly catalyze change.
- Development of a Solutions Agenda to identify proven and promising interventions and programmes on mental health that the Alliance would seek to invest in.
- Development of an Evidence Agenda to identify key gaps in data, research and evaluation on mental health that the Alliance would seek to invest in.
- Development of a Youth Agenda to foster youth-led innovation in evidence, programmes and advocacy on mental health, and which the Alliance would seek to invest in.
- The outcomes will inform UNICEF’s flagship report State of the World’s Children 2020 on mental health of children and young people.
2019 CONFERENCE PROGRAMME
7-9 November 2019
- DAY 1THURSDAY, 7 NOVEMBERARRIVAL AND INTRODUCTIONS
- DAY 2FRIDAY, 8 NOVEMBERCHANGING THE GAME – WHAT IT WILL TAKE
OUR MINDS, OUR FUTURES
Young people’s lived experience
STATE OF THE SCIENCE AND PRACTIVE
The latest evidence on brain health
Action in diverse country contexts
SOLUTIONS AND BREAKTHROUGHS
Programmes, partnerships, innovation and technology
- DAY 3SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9CHANGING THE GAME – PEER ACTION
Catalysts and enablers of change
• Private sector, foundations and philanthropy
• Researchers and academics
• Policy and practitioners
• Youth leaders
RECAP AND NEXT STEPS
Depression is the leading cause of disability among 10-19 years old girls and the 3rd and 4th largest cause of disability among 10-14 and 10-19-year-old boys.