Did You Know?

Most study participants coped with multiple adversities

June 29, 2020

Some 89% of participants in the BC Healthy Connections Project had experienced three or more forms of disadvantage, with 77% experiencing four or more and 56% experiencing five or more. These experiences include: parenting at a young age; living on low income; having limited education; preparing for single parenting; experiencing housing instability; having challenges with anxiety or depression; having challenges with substance use; having a history of being maltreated as a child; and experiencing intimate partner violence.

Aid parents in supporting kids

June 22, 2020

Exposure to intimate partner violence is one of the most common forms of child maltreatment. Recent studies suggest that one of the best ways to help children in this situation is to help the abused caregiver, for example, to obtain safe housing and to learn strategies to address children’s emotional and behavioural challenges. For more information, see Vol. 6, No. 4 of the Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly.

National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada takes place June 21

June 15, 2020

June 21 marks National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada — a day to recognize and celebrate the heritage and cultures of First Nations, Inuitand Métis Indigenous children have experienced, and still experience, the negative legacy of colonialism. But many Indigenous children remain resilient. While these numbers need to be improved, a recent survey of nearly 5,000 First Nations youth in Canada found that more than half reported having very good or excellent mental health. For more information, see Vol. 12, No. 2, page 5 of the Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly.

Most study participants had faced long-term health conditions

June 8, 2020

Most participants in the BC Healthy Connections Project reported coping with long-term health conditions that affected their day-to-day lives. Nearly half (47%) reported having mental health problems including severe anxiety or depression. Many also reported prenatal substance use including nicotine/cigarettes (27%), cannabis (21%), alcohol (2%) and other street drugs (1%).



CBT can prevent depression in children

June 1, 2020

Childhood depression can often be prevented. In particular, when young people are offered effective interventions, like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, it is possible to stop depression from developing.For more information, see Vol. 11, No. 3 of the Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly.

Nearly half of study participants had faced homelessness

May 25, 2020

Participants in the BC Healthy Connections Project were selected based on experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage — and therefore have struggled financially. Most (83%) in fact were living on less than $20,000 pre-tax annually. Related to this, nearly half (47%) had also experienced homelessness at some time in their lives, and a third (34%) had had to move three or more times in the past year.


Families require facts on medications

May 18, 2020

For many children, medications are a part of the treatment plan. Before starting any medication, physicians should always describe the associated risks and benefits so young people and their families can make informed decisions. Physicians should also carefully monitor children to ensure that benefits are maximized and side effects minimized. For more information, see Vol. 2, No. 2 of the Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly. 


Study participants were all younger than 24

May 11, 2020

The purpose of the Nurse-Family Partnership program is to help young, first-time mothers facing socioeconomic disadvantage. The BC Healthy Connections Project set out to recruit a cohort reflecting that population. So nearly half of participants (49%) were age 14–19 years while just over half (51%) were age 20–24 years.

Celebrate National Child & Youth Mental Health Day

May 4, 2020

Thursday, May 7 marks National Child and Youth Mental Health Day — a day on which caring adults are encouraged to make connections with children and youth in their lives. In the spirit of this day, the Children’s Health Policy Centre encourages all health practitioners who suspect a mental disorder in a child to conduct a comprehensive assessment involving both the young person and their parents or caregiver. For more information, see Vol. 2, No. 3 of the Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly.


Protect children from maltreatment

April 27, 2020

Child maltreatment is a serious (and preventable) form of adversity — that nevertheless affects different children differently. Most children who have been maltreated actually experience good to moderate mental health despite their experiences. For those who struggle, however, proven interventions can address the most common associated mental health concerns — including anxiety, conduct disorder, substance use and depression. But the first step, always, is to stop the maltreatment and make sure children are safe. For more information, see Vol. 12, No. 3 of the Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly.