The Caribbean Congress on Adolescent and Youth Health (CCAYH) was described by participants as a transformative experience.  In this PANCAP Blog, participant Matthew Simon reflects on his amazing experience.

“In October, I was presented with the opportunity to attend the first “Caribbean Congress on Adolescent and Youth Health” (CCAYH), held in beautiful Port-of-Spain, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. This was the first time that I’ve witnessed mental health being properly addressed as a public health issue.

While technology is my first love, I am also interested in the mysteries of the human mind, in particular, its patterns. Hence, I intended to use the CCAYH to gather more knowledge on this specific topic. The presentations on meticulous research by the presenters were more than fulfilling. Each touched on various issues of mental health, with some addressing trends, others dealing with causes and treatment for mental illnesses.

One positive aspect that I noticed was the higher ratio of youth to older people, which was something that I had never seen before. I am proud that the young participants were given opportunities to provide input in matters which concern them.

Using the information gathered from this congress, as well as inspiration from fellow attendees and presenters, I plan on conducting a study of my own into Caribbean youth’s mental health and behavioural patterns”.