Five hundred professionals who support the health and wellbeing of young people are set to attend HeadStart Wolverhampton's major autumn conference next month.

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Demand for free tickets for the event, featuring a range of big name guest speakers including mental health campaigner Ruby Wax OBE, has been incredibly high, with all places booked and a waiting list now also full.

Aimed at teachers, health professionals and voluntary sector staff who work with children and young people, the conference will focus on how they can help young people improve their resilience and wellbeing.

Approximately 10% of 15 year olds have a diagnosable mental health condition, and this conference is part of a national debate about how to prevent the development of serious, often lifelong, mental health difficulties in young people.

Councillor Val Gibson, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "There has been a tremendous response to the HeadStart Wolverhampton autumn conference, with all delegate places now taken.

"It is very exciting that so many professionals will be coming along to contribute to the mental health debate, share good practice and develop new ways to help our City's children and young people.

"We hope the conference will deliver HeadStart's anti stigma agenda and will inspire those attending to improve the emotional wellbeing and resilience of children and young people.

"We want frontline professionals to take the learning and innovative ideas being talked about at the conference back into their work with local children and young people."

The conference takes place at Wolverhampton Racecourse on Tuesday 3 October from 9am to 6pm and features a top class line up of guest speakers offering academic expertise, accessible advice and real life experience.

Keynote speaker Ruby Wax OBE has used her own experiences of depression to break down the stigma associated with discussing mental health issues. Paul McGee - who will deliver the opening keynote - developed the SUMO (Stop, Understand, Move On) approach to resilience. Fellow speaker Dr Pooky Knightsmith is a respected mental health ambassador, educator and director at the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust.

The exciting programme will also feature a market place and 6 themed workshops, and will conclude with a community showcase from 4pm to 6pm giving delegates the chance to meet some of the programme's young people. Free tickets to attend the community showcase are still available and can be booked at Type=links;Linkid=8649;Title=HeadStart;Target=_blank;.

Meanwhile, a limited number of stands are available to businesses and other organisations who wish to promote their services to delegates at the conference. These can be reserved on a first come, first served basis by visiting Type=links;Linkid=8649;Title=HeadStart;Target=_blank;.

Councillor Gibson added: "This is a great opportunity for organisations who work to support children and young people to showcase their services to 500 professionals, and I would encourage them to book their stand as soon as possible to avoid disappointment."

HeadStart Wolverhampton, funded through The Big Lottery Fund, is a "test and learn" programme designed to improve the resilience and emotional well-being of children and young people aged 10 to 16 by giving them the skills they need to cope with life's challenges. To find out more about HeadStart, please visit Type=links;Linkid=6584;Title=HeadStart;Target=_blank;, follow @headstartfm on Twitter or log on to Type=links;Linkid=7788;Title=Facebook;Target=_blank;.

  • released: Thursday 21 September, 2017