Meet our 2024 Youth Mental Health Symposium Speakers

Her Excellency Ms. Jane Owen

Governor of the Cayman Islands

Jane Owen was appointed Governor to the Cayman Islands on Friday 21 April 2023.


April 2023 – current date | Governor to the Cayman Islands
2017 to 2023 | HM Ambassador to the Swiss Confederation and non-resident Ambassador to Liechtenstein
2014 to 2016 | Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI)
2010 to 2014 | HM Ambassador to Norway
2006 to 2010 | Director, Trade, Finance, Science and Climate Change, British High Commission, New Delhi, India
2002 to 2006 | Director of Trade Promotion, British Embassy, Tokyo, Japan
1998 to 2001 | Deputy Head of Mission, British Embassy, Hanoi, Vietnam
1996 to 1998 | Head of Mediterranean and Asia Section, European Union Department, FCO
1993 to 1996 | Head of Exports to Japan Unit, Department of Trade and Industry
1990 to 1993 | Second Secretary (Commercial), British Embassy, Tokyo, Japan
1988 to 1990 | Japanese language training, FCO
1987 to 1988 | Latin-American Department, FCO

Jane was educated at Ellerslie School in Malvern, and Trinity College, Cambridge (BA Hons in Russian, French and German). She was born in Bilston in the West Midlands.

Hon. Sabrina Turner

MP Minister for Health & Wellness and Home Affairs

Minister of Health & Wellness Cayman Islands, Hon. Sabrina Turner, MP, was elected to her first term in the Cayman Islands Parliament in April 2021 as a Member for Prospect. Mrs. Turner was sworn in as Minister on Wednesday, 21 April 2021.

Recently, during her time as leader of the Prospect-Red Bay Community Group, she led the small executive team that worked to provide development and support services to the community of approximately three thousand. During her tenure, the group raised over $10,000 towards various projects focused on disaster resilience, the fight against crime and community cohesion.


Dr. Chantal Basson

Alex’s Place, Cayman Islands Health Services Authority

Dr Chantal Basson is a Clinical Psychologist at Alex’s Place, Adoloscent Behavioural Health at the HSA, specialising in attachment focused family therapy, chronic long term health conditions, psychosomatic presentations, neurodiversity, and healing trauma through the developmental of attachment relationships.

Chantal is formerly a Lead Consultant Clinical Psychologist at National Health Services (NHS) in the UK and worked for 10 years in NHS Senior Management and Leadership. She is a qualified Family Therapy Systemic Practitioner, specialising in child and family mental health. She has also taught at multiple universities and across several NHS Trusts during her career to date.

She has qualifications in several therapeutic approaches including, Family therapy, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Theraplay, Autism Assessments and EMDR.

Chantal is an Executive Board Member of the Cayman Islands Psychological Association and volunteers for the Alex Panton Foundation, leading on a mental health improvement strategy project.

Quincy Brown

Entertainer & Broadcaster

Amorya Crawford

Youth Ambassadors Programme

Amorya is a current member of the APF Youth Ambassador Programme in an effort to support initiatives that promote Mental Health awareness among young adults in the Cayman Islands. Her perspective of trying to consistently be present in the world has been greatly influenced by her social and personal experiences, which motivates her to engage in programs like YAP that aim to improve people’s lives. She has spent her formative years serving in a variety of leadership roles at schools, church, and within her wider community. She was exposed to a fulfilling sense of acceptance and belonging while growing up in the Cayman Islands, which has been a valuable source of support and encouragement to continuously strive for nothing but the best, for both herself and other people.

Mirabelle D’Cunha

Mindfulness and Resilience Coach, Mirabelle D’Cunha Integrative Wellness

Mirabelle D’Cunha is passionate about empowering people to experience more clarity, vitality, and contentment in all aspects of their lives.

A certified HeartMath® Interventions Trainer, Mirabelle works with individuals and organizations offering powerful programs on neuroscience and breathing, resilience, and lifestyle changes to increase energy, efficiency, and impact. Her integrative wellness solutions incorporate evidence-based breathing, yoga, trauma work, and PTSD protocols.

A trainer, wisdom keeper, excellence mentor, author, and joy catalyst, Mirabelle has taught in New York City, Chicago, Canada, the Bahamas, Bermuda, India, and the Cayman Islands. She has studied and worked with yogic monks, trauma experts, scientists, and doctors working and living at the intersection of wellness and science.

Having experienced depression in her teens, Mirabelle understands the need for educating with the physiology of mental health, so they can be empowered to feel a sense of autonomy over their lives. As such, she is honoured and humbled to be part of the Alex Panton Foundation Youth Mental Health Symposium.


Dr. Stephanie Edwards

Educational Psychologist, Cayman Islands Department of Education Services

Dr. Edwards holds Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology. Her training and experience have been focused on the child and adolescent population, with service delivery offered primarily in the educational and outpatient clinic settings. Dr. Edwards has worked with the Cayman Islands Department Of Education Services for a total of eight years in her capacity as an Educational Psychologist.

Dr. Edwards was Co-Chair of the Cayman Islands Special Education Needs Code of Practice Committee, is a former board member of Special Olympics Cayman Islands, and is a volunteer with the Alex Panton Foundation. Dr. Edwards is a Master Trainer for multiple Emotional Literacy Programmes Supported by the APF and DES, and continues to facilitate training in these programmes across Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.

Dr. Tonya Holder

Consultant Psychiatrist Health Services Authority

Dr. Tonya Holder is a Consultant Psychiatrist with over 16 years of experience in the field of medicine. The University of the West Indies (UWI) awarded her Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery in 2006. She briefly worked in Emergency Medicine before finding her true calling in the Psychiatry department where she has worked for the last 14 years of her medicine career. In 2016, she graduated with a Doctor of Medicine in Psychiatry from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.

Her experience is vast and varied, and includes consultation-liaison psychiatry, child & adolescent mental health management as well as emergency psychiatric assessments and interventions. Moving to the Cayman Islands last year, she now works as a Consultant Psychiatrist with the Behavioural Health team of the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority with specific responsibility for “Alex’s Place.’ Dr. Holder is passionate about educating persons about mental health to increase their awareness and her greatest desire is to witness the destigmatization of mental illness during her lifetime. She is honored to be allowed the privilege to contribute her expertise to the greater community of the Cayman Islands.


Renee Howell

Marketing, Communication and Fund Development Manager, Inclusion Cayman

Renee Howell is a disability inclusion advocate who leads the marketing, communications, and fund development efforts at Inclusion Cayman, the Cayman Islands’ premier non-profit organization dedicated to empowering individuals with Intellectual and developmental disabilities. Her professional career, spanning over 20 years, includes a pivotal role as the Chief Marketing and Merchandising Officer at the Cayman Turtle Centre, teaching and working with hundreds of clients on local, regional and global marketing needs.

She earned her MBA through the University of Liverpool and also holds a professional license in pedagogy. She is deeply committed to lifelong learning and creativity. She lives with multiple sclerosis, is a survivor of traumatic child abuse. Her heart is in championing sustainability, diversity, and inclusion, aiming to make a positive global impact. She is originally from the United States and has lived in the Cayman Islands for the past 24 years. She is married to a multigenerational Caymanian and has 2 Caymanian grown children.

Erin Kaufman

Administrative Manager, Alex Panton Foundation

Erin Kaufman (nee Hislop) holds a Master’s Degree in Human and Social Services from Walden University, and an Honours Bachelor of the Arts Degree in Sociology and Criminology from the University of Toronto.

Erin’s experience includes being a Programme Facilitator and Parent Coach with the Family Resource Centre under the Department of Counselling Services; the Programme Manager for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Cayman Islands; and working in policy under the Gender Affairs Unit of the Cabinet Office. She also spent some time in the Human Resources field of the Corporate Sector with a particular focus on training and development.

In her new role as the APF Administrative Manager, Erin’s responsibilities include providing administrative support to the APF Board of Directors and oversight of its sub-committees; establishing and maintaining the business plan, policies and procedures that govern the APF; and ensuring the Foundation is meeting its targets and fulfilling its objectives to meet the changing needs/expectations of the public.

Emily Kelly

Programme Manager, Alex Panton Foundation

Derek Oliver

Counselor/Therapist, Infinite Mindcare Cayman

Derek is passionate about mental health, especially the impact that our mental health has on our ability to form relationships and make personal changes at key developmental periods in our lives. Derek has worked extensively with children and their families, but their first passion has always been working with adolescents. With experience working with adolescents in the mental health field since 2013, Derek is on a personal mission to assist individuals during the difficult transition that is adolescence and uses a variety of techniques and approaches to achieve this.

Headshot derek oliver

Jane Panton

Chairperson, Alex Panton Foundation

Along with her duties as an active part of the APF, Jane has a fulltime job at the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands as Director of Finance and Compliance.  Having discovered her passion for numbers early in her teens, her careers guidance counsellor at Cayman Islands High School pointed her in the direction of qualifying as a professional accountant. Supported with a scholarship from Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co (now KPMG), Jane became the first student in the fulltime scholarship program that had recently been introduced by PMM to qualify at the first sitting of the CPA exam which she sat in 1988 at the age of 22.   

Jane remains committed to the challenge of balancing this very demanding job and working with the team at APF who are all passionate about raising awareness of mental health issues in children and young people and providing solutions to these issues.

Jerrin Reynolds-Velasquez

Youth Ambassador Programme

Jerrin Reynolds-Velasquez, is a 16 year old Patriotic Caymanian from the district of West Bay. He is well-known within the community as the Future Premier and a 2029 Candidate for the constituency of West Bay North. He is recognized for his involvement within the community as he does community projects to give back to the community and even participating in Talk Shows and other various activities that he enjoys  doing. He is also a member of the Boyz2Men Programme and he is currently serving in the 2023-2024 Youth Parliament and he is serving as the Minister For Youth, Sports and Heritage. Jerrin is loved by many because of his strong Caymanian accent and his down to earth personality. He enjoys talking about Cayman Politics, Caymanian Heritage and about Family History. Additionally, he loves to represent his school which is John Gray High School and the entire Cayman Islands.

Dr. Shannon Seymour

Director/ Psychologist, The Wellness Centre

Dr. Shannon Seymour is a clinical and developmental psychologist with over 25 years of clinical experience. She earned a PhD in Psychology with an emphasis in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health. She also has a Masters in Clinical Psychology, a second Masters in Developmental Disabilities and a Bachelors (Honors) in Psychology. She is a Registered Psychologist with the Council for Professionals Allied with Medicine in the Cayman Islands. She is a member of the Canadian Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Seymour founded The Wellness Centre in 2004 out of a passion for responsive community based mental health treatment. As Director she leads a multidisciplinary team of psychologists, mental health therapists, developmental and behavioural specialists and is proud of the many ways in which The Wellness Centre contributes to the development of the Cayman Islands Community and the growth and sustainability of the field of psychology and mental health treatment.

Dr Shari Smith

Licensed & Registered Clinical Psychologist, Director, LifeOptions 

Dr. Shari Smith is a licensed clinical psychologist with more than 30 years’ experience in special education and disabilities in the Cayman Islands. She is founder and owner of Life Options, a private practice providing psychological and life coaching services. At Life Options, clients are helped with putting the pieces together. Dr. Shari is passionate about working with young people and adults who struggle with anxiety and depression, and persons experiencing difficulty navigating the transitions of life. Dr. Shari utilizes a holistic approach with working with her clients, incorporating a format that appreciates the connection between the mind, body, and spirit and how all are key in learning how to manage the many challenges in life. Her work is grounded in mindfulness and embracing the inner self to achieve personal goals. Dr. Shari believes in empowering her clients to take hold of their own journey and become the best version of themself.

Monina Thompson

Youth Ambassador Leader, Youth Ambassadors Programme

Monina Thompson is one of the Youth Ambassador Leaders with YAP (Youth Ambassadors Program) for the Alex Panton Foundation. Early on this year, she joined the UNESCO’s #iRespectU campaign on youth-led action to promote Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Caribbean. Along with her peers, she joined the Comprometidos Accelerator Programme on Disability Inclusion organised by UNESCO, Ashoka and Socialab and won seed funding to put their ideas into practice.

Monina is also a newly appointed Youth Representative, for the National Youth Council with the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Culture & Heritage, where she sits as the Chairperson of the Public Awareness sub committee. She has represented Cayman locally and internationally in sports, culture, and education.

Having faced her own challenges with mental health at a young age, Monina is currently pursuing her Bachelors in Psychology at Carleton University and wishes to see her island adopt a proactive way of addressing mental health concerns.

Lizzette Yearwood

Ms Lizzette Yearwood, JP, MMH, MHA, a Registered Nurse, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA), with overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the Cayman Islands Hospital, Faith Hospital, and District Health Centres and Clinics across all three islands. In addition to her professional commitments, Ms Yearwood is a Board Director of the Alex Panton Foundation (APF).

A Cayman Brac native, Ms Yearwood has one daughter, Kelsey, an accomplished IT professional with whom she shares the title of United World College alumna.

2024 Symposium Information

Click the link below to see our 2024 Symposium speakers, sponsors and more.