5th International Conference on Youth Mental Health

Advantage PCO has been the core PCO for the International Association for Youth Mental Health since 2013.  We have managed their biennial international conference since appointment in Brighton, UK (2013), Montreal, Canada (2015), Dublin, Ireland (2017) and most recently in Brisbane, Australia (2019).

The IAYMH conference attracts between 500 and 700 delegates and with considerable experience of managing international events outside of Ireland the Advantage team relished the opportunity to work with the local organising committee, the conference venue and the Brisbane Convention Bureau to deliver another exceptional event for the IAYMH. We are now already well along the road to planning and delivering their next conference in Copenhagen, Denmark which will take place in September, 2021.

The 5th International Conference on Youth Mental Health took place at the multi-award winning Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC), one of Australia’s premier venues for events, exhibitions and conferences. The 3 day programme including pre-conference Workshops was held from 26th – 28th  October, 2019. With a theme of United for Global Change we welcomed a total of 652 delegates

representing 41 different countries to the wonderful city of Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland.

In addition to a very diverse international audience the IAYMH conference is quite unique in terms of the age demographic of attendees with almost one third of all participants aged 18 – 25 years. There is also a very wide range of backgrounds represented from students and youth workers to academics, health professional clinicians and researchers, all working together to create a very special dynamic.

The financial support of sponsors and exhibitors for such an event is crucial. Advantage worked alongside the local organising committee and key stakeholders to secure sponsorship in excess of AUD $320,000. A portion of this revenue was used to support the Association’s bursary programme which attracted over 600 applicants and ultimately awarded domestic and

international bursaries covering conference registration, airfares and accommodation for very many young people.

The conference programme is comprised of a combination of plenary and concurrent sessions and was also co-ordinated by Advantage. We managed travel and accommodation for all plenary speakers and worked very closely with the conference Programme Commiittee to construct a programme of engaging and interactive parallel sessions built from 441 abstract submissions.

Technology is a key part of the Youth Mental Health landscape and the event website and app were both designed and managed by Advantage and, as is often the case with Association conferences, proved to be among the most valuable marketing and networking tools.