2011 Public Health Symposium on Early Childhood Mental Health
Translating the science of early experiences into culturally informed policy and practice
Keynote Speakers included:
Robert Anda, MD, MS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atum Azzahir, Powderhorn/Phillips Cultural Wellness Center
Diane Benjamin, MPH, FrameWorks Institute
Ed Ehlinger, MD, MS, Commissioner of Health, Minnesota
Megan Gunnar, PhD, University of Minnesota, Institute of Child Development
Wendy Hellerstedt, MPH, PhD, University of Minnesota, Epidemiology & Community Health
Jim Koppel, MSW, Children’s Defense Fund
Tony LookingElk, Otto Bremer Foundation
Art Rolnick, PhD, Human Capital Research Collaborative, University of Minnesota
Don Warne, MD, MPH, Sanford Health System
About the symposium: Early childhood experiences – and the environments in which they occur – strongly affect the healthy development of every child. Dramatic advances in our understanding of early brain development, the critical importance of social environments that stimulate and nurture, and the consequences when such environments are absent or inconsistent have taught us that the developmental trajectory towards positive mental health begins early and affects health across the lifecourse. We know what can and MUST be done to ensure that ALL infants and young children receive what they need from their caregiving environments to develop into happy, healthy individuals, both physically and emotionally, and to optimize their opportunities for happiness and physical and emotional health.
Policies that provide public support for programs and interventions that promote positive mental health as well prevent, diagnose and treat mental health disturbances in young children are essential to establishing the social conditions that enable families and communities to create nurturing, supportive contexts where children’s mental health can flourish.
This symposium brought together researchers, policymakers and practitioners to address the critical question of how we can best translate the science of early brain development into messages (across disciplines, communities and cultures) that effectively communicate the evidence in support of such policies and practices. Additionally, this symposium emphasized and explored culturally relevant strategies for identifying and addressing the social emotional needs of young children across cultures and economic circumstances.
This event was intended for academic, public health, policy and community practice professionals, advanced graduate students and those with an interest in early childhood mental health promotion.
Video recordings of keynote presenters:
Introduction and opening remarks: Ed Ehlinger, MD, MSPH, Commissioner of Health, Minnesota
Maternal and Child Health and the Lifecourse: Wendy Hellerstedt, MPH, PhD
Ways of Knowing: Atum Azzahir
Cultural Storytelling – Honoring the Wisdom of Experience: Tony LookingElk
Understanding the Science of Child Development: Megan Gunnar, PhD
Healthy Dev. in Early Childhood – Economic Development with HIgh Public Return: Art Rolnick, PhD
Reflecting on the Frame – Telling Better Stories about Child Mental Health: Diane Benjamin, MPH
Digging In – Challenging the Dominant Frames by Rewriting the Script: Diane Benjamin, MPH
Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences – Implications Across the Lifecourse: Rob Anda, MD, MS
Adverse Childhood Experiences & Population Health – Translating the Science of Early Experiences into State Policy and Practice: Rob Anda, MD, MS
Children Don’t Come in Pieces: Jim Koppel, MSW
Addressing Health Disparities, Promoting Health Equity – Promise, Policy and Practice: Donald Warne, MD, MPH