This conference is the first in a series of biennial events presented by the Big Lottery Fund in collaboration with the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.

HeadStart is a five-year National Lottery funded programme set up by the Big Lottery Fund to give young people aged 10- to 16-years-old the tools they need to overcome life’s challenges and prevent serious mental-health issues from developing. Six local authority led HeadStart partnerships based in Blackpool, Cornwall, Hull, Kent, Newham and Wolverhampton are designing new approaches to providing support when and where it is needed, focusing on developing young people’s emotional resilience from an early age.

The Evidence Based Practice Unit (Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and UCL) is working with Big Lottery Fund and the HeadStart partnerships to collect and evaluate evidence about what does and doesn’t work locally to benefit young people now and in the future.

The conference warmly invites professionals from research and delivery/commissioning backgrounds to come together at a crucial time in children’s mental health support and research to collaborate. It is an opportunity to hear emerging learning from the six HeadStart partnerships based around England alongside international learning from pre-eminent key note speakers from the field of resilience research; Professor Ann Masten, Professor Michael Ungar and Professor Sir Michael Rutter.The event will cover

With our keynote speakers we will take stock and explore the state of resilience research today; what progress has been made, contemporary context, and what we have left to tackle. We will hear emerging learning from HeadStart partnerships (e.g. learning on co-production with young people), and we will also challenge an expert panel of researchers, practitioners and importantly, young people to help us consider how best to place young people at the centre of mental health provision for young people.

Who is this event suitable for?

The aim is to help bridge research and practice by bringing cutting edge researchers, commissioners, policy makers and service developers together to discuss key issues. We would like to encourage professionals from both delivery, commissioning and research backgrounds to attend.


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