Meet our 2023 Youth Mental Health Symposium Speakers

His Excellency Martyn Roper OBE, Governor of the Cayman Islands

Martyn Keith Roper is a highly experienced career Diplomat with a successful track record in senior corporate leadership roles across the world. Prior to his appointment as Governor of the Cayman Islands, Martyn was Minister and Deputy Head of Mission in Beijing where he was responsible for a network of over 800 people across five diplomatic posts.

Martyn has previous experience working with the British Overseas Territories from his time as Head of the Gibraltar Section at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London when he had specific responsibility for policy concerning law and order, justice and good governance.

He was Vice Consul in Kuwait at the time of the outbreak of the first Gulf War and was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2013 on his return to the UK from his posting in Algeria.

Married to Elisabeth he has two children, a son Matthew and daughter Jessica.

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Hon Sabrina Turner, MP, Minister of Health, Environment, Culture and Housing

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.

Following graduation from high school, Mrs. Turner ​ joined the Cayman Islands Health Services as a Nursing Assistant and enrolled in the training programme to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. In 1993 she graduated from the Cayman Islands School of Nursing as the Valedictorian. 

More 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. 

Her love for community work is shown in her effective leadership over the years.

Hon. Justice Margaret Ramsay-Hale, Cayman Islands Judicial Administration, Chief Justice of the Cayman Islands

The Honourable Madam Justice Margaret Ramsay-Hale commenced her tertiary education at the London School of Economics in 1979 where she read for a degree in economics. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree (BSc) with honours in 1981.

She undertook her professional practice training at the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica and upon completing her Certificate of Legal Education in 1991, she was admitted to the Jamaican Bar.

The Judge has developed a reputation over the years as an advocate for children, young persons and the mentally ill. She served for 10 years on the National Drug Council of the Cayman Islands and was instrumental in establishing the Drug Rehabilitation Court. She also played a major role in extending the treatment paradigm on which the drug courts are based to other areas of concern by establishing the mental health court, the domestic violence intervention programme and the DUI programme, all intended to divert offenders from prison by addressing the root causes of their offending behaviour.

In October 2022, she was appointed Chief Justice of the Cayman Islands, the first woman to be so appointed.

Dr Stenette Davis, Consultant Psychiatrist, Cayman Islands Health Services Authrotiy 

Dr Stenette Davis spent his formative years at the Kingston College High School which gave him the background and fortitude for higher learning. He pursued his undergraduate Medical Degree at the University of the West Indies Mona Campus and later went on to complete his Doctor of Medicine in Psychiatry. On completion of his DM in Psychiatry he worked in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Clinics and general psychiatry clinic in Western Jamaica between 2015-2019. He has been working in Cayman Islands since 2020 providing primarily services to Children and Adolescents.In addition to his training in psychiatry he has formal training in use of medicinal marijuana, attachment therapy and is a certified clinical hypnotherapist. He recently became a published author of the Childrens’ book Ballad of Baldoon. In his spare time, he likes to hang with friends and play tennis.One of the things he would like to happen most is close collaboration of private and public entities involved in caring for children with mental health needs.

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 awarded the Cayman Islands Deputy Governor’s Award, Chief Officer’s Choice in 2018, in recognition of her contribution and dedication to the Cayman Islands government. She is also a two-time recipient of the Amherst College Memorial Fellowship for graduate studies.  

Dr. Edwards remains committed to a collaborative approach to care, and hopes to further contribute to the strengthening of partnerships across agencies and providers, to improve outcomes for the young people of the Cayman Islands.  

Lilly Haug, Youth Ambassador

Lilly Haug, a student at Cayman International School, is in her final year of completing her International Baccalaureate Diploma. Throughout her years at the school, she has shown strong leadership skills and has become involved in several initiatives to serve her community.

As a leader of Protect Our Future, a youth-led environmental organization, Lilly has a passion for promoting sustainable practices in Cayman and protecting the future of her community. She founded Clothes for a Cause, a club dedicated to promoting sustainable fashion and raising funds for local charities.

As a part of the Youth Ambassador program, Lilly has been a strong advocate for youth mental health. She spoke on the youth panel “How we maintain hope in these uncertain times” at the 5th Annual Youth Mental Health Symposium and presented at a Government Caucus meeting on the effects of education on students’ mental health. Lilly has a passion for making a positive impact on her community.

Dr Tonya Holder, Consultant Psychiatrist, Cayman Islands Health Services Authrotiy

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.

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”.

Rhonda Kelly, Adi’s Mom and Board Member, Alex Panton Foundation

Caymanian Rhonda Kelly is the CEO of Kelly Holding. Rhonda is active in the community and was a founding member of the CI Small Business Association (2009-2012) and the YMCA (2012-2021), as well as other local programmes. Rhonda recently joined the board of the Alex Panton Foundation and will lead the organisation’s marketing committee.

Rhonda and her husband Kirk lost their youngest daughter, Addison, to suicide on 8th February 2022. Experiencing a parent’s worst nightmare has led her on a journey of ‘finding meaning’ and made her determined to share Addi’s story in hopes of helping others who may be struggling as Addi did.

Rhonda and her family have created the Addison Kelly Memorial Scholarship fund, which will be administered by the Alex Foundation and help a Caymanian pursue studies in the mental health field. The inaugural Addison Kelly Butterfly 5k Walk/Run was held on 4 February and all proceeds from the annual event will go toward the scholarship.

Dr Erica Lam, BSc (Hons), MRes, PG Dip, PG Dip CBT, DClin Psy, CPsychol, Clinical Consultant, Alex Panton Foundation

Dr. Lam is a U.K.-trained Doctorate Clinical Psychologist and Registered Expert Witness with over 18 years of clinical experience in providing specialist mental health and trauma services to our community. Dr. Lam has been awarded with a Certificate in Complex Trauma and Dissociation by The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation and holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Supervision. She is also certified in Neurosequential Model in Therapy as a trainer.

Dr Lam specializes in complex trauma and attachment work and mainly works with looked-after children services. She is passionate in developing trauma informed care through consultation and training. Dr Lam is experienced in reforming services and has a track record of service improvement.

In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Lam is on the board of Alex Panton Foundation and The Theraplay Institute. Involving in many community and charity initiatives and has led many outreach projects. One of her current focus areas involves working with community leaders to improve access for children to mental health services.

Jane Panton, Chairperson, Chairperson, Director, and Co-Founder, 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.

Chad Powell, Youth Ambassador

Chad Powell Jr is the male CARICOM (Caribbean Community and Common Market) Youth Ambassador for Cayman (a program created to increase youth knowledge and awareness of CARICOM issues and raises the profile of youth on a national and international level) as well as a member of the Youth Ambassador Program. He is a Dual Enrollment student of Clifton Hunter at UCCI , currently studying his associates in social sciences, he plans to then study law after graduating. He has shown strong leadership skills throughout the years as well as an enthusiastic involvement in the community, being involved in many youth organizations and initiatives.

As part of his involvement in the country, Chad represented Cayman in London last year as the first Caymanian ever to speak in The UK House of Commons. He spoke on issues that affect the youth of Cayman, something that he is very passionate about.

Dr Brandon Ramakko, Chiropractor, The DaVinci Centre

Dr. Ramakko spent most of his adult life teaching college-level physics in Montreal, Canada, but when his own health and the health of his loved ones declined due to indifferent and unsatisfactory healthcare he took it upon himself to start his own healthcare education. He tries to share this knowledge as much as possible. While happy to work with a variety of conditions, he has particular interest in chronic pain. He has achieved diplomate status with the International Academy of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine setting him apart as a specialist in diagnosis and management. He has worked at a drug rehab facility in Portland and at his own practice in Austin, Texas, before coming to work at the DaVinci Centre here on the Island.

Shannon Seymour, PhD (cand), MSc, MA, BA (Hons), Director The Wellness Centre Director, The Wellness Centre

Shannon Seymour is a psychologist with over 25 years of clinical experience. She holds a Masters in Clinical Psychology, Masters in Developmental Disabilities and is a PhD candidate who will defend her Dissertation next month. She is a member of the Canadian Psychological Association and a Registered Psychologist with the Council for Professionals Allied with Medicine in the Cayman Islands.

She has extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders, including ADHD, Autism and Social Communication Disorder. She is trained in attachment  based treatment of anxiety disorders and OCD as a Certified SPACE therapist. She is an endorsed Reflective Supervisor and a strong community advocate for mental health awareness.

At The Wellness Centre Shannon leads a multidisciplinary team of psychologists, mental health therapists, developmental and behavioural specialists and is proud of the many ways in which they service our community.

Laila Shimis, Research Analyst at the National Drug Council

Laila Shimis a research analyst at theNational Drug Council (NDC) where she is primarily responsible for the development, monitoring, and evaluation of research conducted by the organization.This includes the NDC’s primary research project, the biennial Cayman Islands Student Drug Use Survey (CISDUS) which has been monitoring the trends in youth substance use since 1998.Laila has an extensive educational background in the field of social sciences, with a particular interest and focus on addiction sand mental health. Her most recent educational achievement includes the completion of a Master of Public Health in Social & Behavioral Health Sciences from the University of Toronto. Through her role at the NDC, she strives to ensure that the community always has access to locally relevant data, and through this data hopes to see a greater collaboration between stake holders to strengthen the services available for our youth and wider-community.

Monina Thompson, Youth Ambassador 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 subcommittee. 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. 

Dr. Katheryn Whittaker, Adjunct Professor at the University College of the Cayman Islands

Dr. Katheryn Whittaker is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). She is Certified with the British Psychological Society (BPS), UK, and a registered member of The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). Dr. Whittaker is also licensed with the Cayman Islands Council of Professionals Allied with Medicine (CPAM).

Katheryn’s therapeutic practices include: Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Rapid Resolution Therapy, Neurofeedback, Play therapy and Motivational Interviewing.

Dr. Whittaker currently lives in Grand Cayman and serves as Adjunct Professor for University College of the Cayman Islands, and recently started Brain Train Grand Cayman.  

Dr. Whittaker previously worked as Clinical Supervisor for The Counselling Centre of The Department of Counselling Services, in Grand Cayman.

Lizzette Yearwood, Alternate Deputy Chairperson and Director, Alex Panton Foundation

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.

2023 Symposium Information

Click the link below to see our 2023 Symposium speakers, sponsors and more.