GPS 2016 discusses mental health and addictions

Mental health and addictions is a big topic at GPS 2016; it is not only a standalone stream, it also intersects with all parts of our upcoming conference. 


All three big plenaries at GPS 2016 discuss the issues of mental health and addictions.

On day one, the opening keynote address is Professor Richie Poulton (left) who will focus on the importance of the early years for having good mental health and wellbeing later in life.

This is followed by a plenary panel called Addressing the Big Issues in whichi mental health and addictions is a key topic. Some of our panel members have significant expertise in these areas especially for young people, including Dr Francis Agnew (clinical director, Waitemata DHB) who is convening the panel, Matafanua Hilda Fa’asalele (see picture to right, chief advisor Pacific, Ministry of Health), Dr Terryann Clark, Adolescent Health Research Group and the principal investigator of the Youth '12 national youth health and wellbeing survey in secondary schools throughout New Zealand, and well known New Zealand comic Mike King (Key to Life Trust). 

The second big plenary is Wellbeing in Sport with sports star Sonny Bill Williams (All Black Sevens), John Palavi (New Zealand Warriors), Fiao’o Fa’amausili (captain, Black Ferns) and stalwarts of sport such as Leaupepe Nigel Vagana (NRL) and Jerome Ropati (New Zealand Warriors). This panel, convened by Saveatama Eroni Clarke (former All Black and cultural and relationship manager at Le Va) will discuss players’ experiences, strategies they use to keep well while experiencing huge amounts of pressure, and programmes that are in place in sports to support player wellbeing.

Our final plenary includes approaches to address mental health and addiction issues including creative youth interventions using music, strengthening cultural identity, spirituality, and programmes that support young people to thrive and flourish in Aotearoa New Zealand.

We hope to see you there. For more information about our programme, keynote speakers and to register, check out our GPS webpages.