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Dart Donation Helps Expand Mental Health Support for Cayman Islands Youth

Dart Donation Helps Expand Mental Health Support for Cayman Islands Youth

GRAND CAYMAN, 19 December 2023: Dart today announced a CI$30,000 donation the Addison Kelly Memorial Scholarship Fund, which will facilitate additional support to those helping youth in the Cayman Islands struggling with mental health concerns.

The scholarship, launched earlier this year, is administered by the Alex Panton Foundation. It is currently awarded every two years and is available to Caymanians aged 20-35 who possess an undergraduate degree in a related field and is accepted to a competitively ranked and accredited overseas institution to pursue studies in a programme in psychology/psychotherapy.

Rhonda Kelly, an Alex Panton Foundation committee member and mother of the late Addison Kelly, said this new support will allow them to broaden the impact of what can be achieved through the scholarship fund.

“With these additional funds, we can expand training opportunities under the Addison Kelly Memorial Scholarship Fund to include programmes for teachers and others who are essentially first responders in identifying matters of mental health among our youth. While it’s important to have highly qualified clinicians, it’s important to underscore the vital role of those who interact with our youth daily and the impact they can have on our young people’s lives,” Kelly said.

Details on the new offerings through the scholarship fund are expected to be announced in the coming months.

In making the announcement of the donation during the festive season, Dart Chief of Staff Joanne Lawson said: “The holidays can be a joy-filled season for many, but they can be challenging for those impacted by issues such as anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. As we hold our loved ones close, we wanted to show our appreciation for organisations such as the Alex Panton Foundation who work to eradicate the stigma around mental illness and provide a supportive network to those in need. We are delighted to hear that plans are already in place to utilise these funds to broaden the impact of the scholarship fund.”

Addison Kelly was a Caymanian teenager who was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression at age 15, with an additional diagnosis of borderline personality disorder being made in the following months. On Tuesday, 8 February 2022, she succumbed to her illnesses, taking her life at 16-years old.

In 2023, Dart also made a significant financial contribution to the scholarship fund following the inaugural Addison Kelly Butterfly 5K Walk/Run in which the company matched donations raised through public registration for the event that attracted nearly 1,000 participants.

In recent years, Dart has made similar contributions around the holidays to support community-oriented initiatives like Cayman Food Bank, Boyz2Men and gifted literacy, STEM, sports or other supplies to primary schools across the Cayman Islands.