Let’s Talk, but how? Expert advice for talking to youth about their mental health

Location Details
Virtual event (Zoom webinar)
Female student walking in group and glancing back while going to class in college.


  • Dr. Gail Beck, Psychiatrist and Clinical Director, The Royal’s Youth Psychiatry Program
  • Sara Stewart, Social Worker, The Royal’s Youth Psychiatry Program
  • Rob Nettleton, Social Worker, The Royal’s Youth Psychiatry Program
  • Zachary Kaminsky, DIFD-Mach Gaensslenn Chair in Suicide Prevention Research, The Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research (IMHR)


Ian Mendes, journalist


Let’s Talk, but how is a free online event presented by The Royal and DIFD that will inform, empower, and most importantly, leave you feeling hopeful – and confident – about talking to teens and young adults about mental health.

Mental health is a key component of well-being and happiness and it affects every aspect of life, from learning and relationships to physical health and self-esteem. While good mental health is important for everyone, young people face unique challenges and stressors. Peers, family, and social media, coupled with worries about big life decisions, academic pressure, climate change, the economy, and social justice issues can weigh heavily on youth. This distress, along with other factors, can lead to poor mental health including things like problematic substance use or self-harm. The teens and early twenties are also a time when mood and anxiety disorders can emerge.  

Whether you are a parent, caregiver, teacher, or counsellor who wants to support the young adults they know, or simply a curious and compassionate member of the community, you will benefit from the insights, advice, and resources presented in this timely and critical discussion about youth mental health. 

Hosted by journalist Ian Mendes, this jam-packed, 90-minute event promises to be informative, inspiring, and accessible to a wide audience. 


‘Before you have the conversation, you need to know the situation’ 
Dr. Gail Beck will discuss the current state of youth mental health, including data on the prevalence of mental health issues, the impact of the pandemic, factors that impact youth mental health and why they may be particularly vulnerable, the importance of early intervention and mental health support, and good mental health habits.

‘Having the conversation: Tips for talking with youth about mental health’
Sara Stewart and Rob Nettleton will share practical tips and advice for parents and caregivers.

  • When to know a conversation is needed and behaviours to watch out for
  • How to listen effectively 
  • Using emotional validation as a communications tool
  • What to do if kids don’t want to talk
  • Normalizing conversations about mental health
  • The importance of self-care (it’s not just a buzzword!)

‘Innovation to support future conversations about mental health’
Dr. Zachary Kaminsky will discuss how AI can help identify mental health concerns and suicide risk based on what youth are saying and share information about an innovative app that provides mental health feedback based on data inputted by the user.

Ian Mendes will lead the discussion and moderate a Q&A at the end. Registrants are welcome to bring their questions about youth mental health or submit them ahead of time. 

Date and Time

Tuesday, February 6, 2024
7 to 8:30 p.m.


Click here to register for the event

Contact information

Michaela Berniquez at michaela.berniquez@theroyal.ca

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