Second Annual Ready! Resilient! Utah Early Childhood Mental Health Summit

SALT LAKE CITY – December 8, 2021 – Governor Spencer J. Cox and First Lady Abby Cox, in partnership with The Children’s Center Utah and the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, are thrilled to present the second annual Ready! Resilient! Utah Early Childhood Mental Health Summit on December 15, 2021. The event will be held virtually from 9 – 11 a.m. 

“Our children are struggling and they need our support," Gov. Cox said. "This Summit will bring more focused attention on the mental health needs of our youngest Utahns and help us develop policy solutions to help them thrive.”

The 2021 Summit will showcase the program and policy recommendations made by the Utah Early Childhood Mental Health Working Group. The working group is a cross-sector team of leaders and key stakeholders in Utah that has focused its expertise and energy throughout 2021 on addressing system-level change to further strengthen early childhood mental health in Utah.

The working group’s purpose was to understand, prioritize, and propose solutions to the issues identified in the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute study, Early Childhood Mental Health in Utah. The recommendations made by the working group are intended to guide program and policy decisions and align related and/or new efforts throughout the state.

Attendees can expect an inspiring and educational morning with keynote speaker Dr. Brenda Jones Harden, PhD, Alison Richman Professor for Children and Families University of Maryland School of Social Work, she will discuss about disparities in mental health among minorities, the effects of COVID-19 on children’s mental health, and the developing brain.  Attendees will also hear from Governor Spencer J. Cox and First Lady Abby Cox, and a variety of others.

“Addressing the complexities of early childhood mental health needs everybody—policy makers, researchers, childcare providers, community leaders and mental health professionals—to join forces,” said Rebecca Dutson, president and CEO of The Children’s Center Utah. “Our goal for this annual Summit is to gather these brilliant minds so we can move forward together and build stronger future solutions to addressing early childhood mental health issues in Utah. We are so grateful to all those who continue to show support for the well-being of young children and their families.”

This summit will raise awareness of the importance of children’s mental health, create a common understanding and language around early childhood mental health, foster understanding of mental health resources, and shape the path for future-oriented solutions.

For more information and to register for the event, please visit