Gandy moves onto the attachment theory. "There's been some interesting research that shows the value of this," he reports. A child having at least one adult where they have a secure attachment is key... we used to think attachment occurred in infancy... This is a phenomenon that needs to be nurtured well over time," He adds this should continue until early adolescence as it helps with the development into adulthood.
Next lesson: be a role model. "Our children watch what we do.They listen carefully to what we say."
Gandy preaches on the importance of sleep: "When you sit down. You learn they sleep with their phone.. they drink red bull at night. They engage in behaviours that their parents often do. We need to make sure our kids are sleeping well."
Gandy also says it is key to promote resilience. His ten ways to do this: be empathetic, communicate with respect, be flexible, give your undivided attention, accept your kids, give them a chance to contribute, treat mistakes as learning opportunities, stress your children's strengths, let your kids solve problems, discipline to teach.
"Often when kids come to us with an issue, they just want someone who will listen, but not necessarily solve the problem," he says. "Let your kids come up with their own solution."
"I've talked about attachment and engaging in attachment behaviours. I'm here to say social media is the arch enemy of attachment," he informs. "About 30% of people said they would rather go a week without seeing their significant other than giving up their cell phone!" he adds which generates laughs from the audience.
Gandy: "What we see in our facilities is kids who are disconnected from their technology are afraid of being with themselves... They panic."
"If you see your kid is struggling, intervene early," he says on coping with mental health. "Mental illness is easier to treat in its early stages." He adds that parents need to become an expert on their child's diagnosis--know the symptoms and the treatments.
Gandy's next tip: advocate and ask questions for your child.
Gandy goes over the process of what to expect when your child is receiving treatment: 1) intake process 2) waitlists 3) diagnostic assessments 4) treatment interventions - (talk therapies and behaviour therapies)
Gandy: "You have to set realistic expectations about what medications can do... The treatment interventions take time and it's important to be informed and be an expert."
"Most of the mental health issues we see cannot be fixed within seven hours of a visit," he adds.
Gandy shares some resources with the audience that parents and youth can use for those facing issues in mental health before exiting the podium.
We move onto Q and A :"How can a parent protect and educate a child from mental illness when it is hereditary in the family," an audience member asks.
Gandy says there's importance in knowing the family history and knowing which medications have worked with family members in the past which will help guide for the future. He adds that you cannot protect a child from an illness, but stay informed and look out for early warning signs.
Next Question: an audience member wants to know what to do when teens refuse to take their medication.
A strategy: motivational interviewing: "What you are trying to do is to get them to a point where they can see the pros and cons of taking a medication... You get them to look at the consequences and loses that they might experience by not taking their medications... Finding ways to talk about hidden fears or other ways for them to articulate is key," he explains
Thatte adds that there are lots of misconceptions about medication and it is important to stay educated on medications.
If the young person can feel that they own what's going on and if they are truly engaged in the process is important, Dr. Hogan says.
Another question comes from a mother who has a child with a disability. She is worried about her older son's well-being, as more attention is always being paid to her son with the disability.
Gandy handles this question again. "The challenge is dividing the attention, he says. "You have to ensure that you are thinking about him. The other part is how can you engage him and asking him what role he can play in supporting his brother. It gives him a sense of purpose and competence."
Hogan closes the night saying we have passed the time limit for the formal presentation. This concludes the evening. "Thank you so much," he says.