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Gordon Harold to represent UK at UNICEF and WHO child mental health conference

Professor Gordon Harold

The UK’s representative at the inaugural ‘Leading Minds for Children and Young People’ conference in Italy this week will be Professor Gordon Harold from the University of Sussex’ School of Psychology.

Professor Harold is a renowned expert on the mental health of children and young people. He is director of the Rudd Centre for Adoption Research and Practice, which focuses on supporting families, parents and children and the professionals and policy makers who work to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and young people.

He said: “This unique conference, organised by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation, is in response to the present and future impacts of mental health problems across the lifespan and across generations. To be invited to contribute to this inaugural and innovative event as a UK representative is an immense privilege and huge opportunity.”

Exploring the theme of 'Healthy Minds, Healthy Futures’ the world’s leading academics, researchers, philanthropists, influencers and government advisers will explore new evidence and challenges that influence the mental health of young people in the 21st century.

Conference delegates will discuss factors that play a role in determining the mental health of young people at every stage of development from pregnancy and childhood through to adolescence and early adulthood. They will look at the impact of global trends including globalisation, a culture of escalating violence and anxiety about climate change on children and young people around the world.

Commenting on the need for this global sharing of research, questions and best practice, Professor Harold said: "It is estimated that by 2030, the global cost of mental health problems will exceed $16 trillion. In the UK, the annual cost of mental health problems, including depression, exceeds £100 billion. The implications of mental health problems for young people, adults, the elderly and society are significant. This event represents an opportunity to influence sustainable global change that is of significant national interest".

Last updated: Monday, 4 November 2019