Did You Know?

Kids can be cared for in the community

September 7, 2020

Every year on Sept 10, people in more than 50 countries connect to work together to prevent suicide. In the spirit of this day, the Children’s Health Policy Centre encourages all people who care for children to understand that hospitalization is not the only option. Multisystemic Therapy offers 16 weeks of intensive community-based treatment, which can reduce mental health problems even more effectively than inpatient care. For example, youth who received this intervention had fewer suicide attempts one year later than those who were hospitalized. For more information, see Vol. 7, No. 3 of the Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly. 2013

Brief therapy reduces drinking

August 24, 2020

Alcohol consumption in pregnancy can cause harm. And for those who need support to stop drinking in pregnancy, there are effective interventions. For example, when practitioners delivered a single 25-minute session to pregnant women and their partners, alcohol use was reduced fivefold — from five days a month to one. For more information, see Vol. 5, No. 2 of the Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly.

Study highlights a strongly underserved population

August 17, 2020

Beyond evaluating the effectiveness of Nurse-Family Partnership, the scientific study of this program is highlighting a population that has been underserved in BC. Many participants also tell us, anecdotally, that through this study they feel their voices are being heard, often for the first time.

Young lives deserve early investments

August 10, 2020

The 1.8 billion youth between the ages of 10 and 24 in the world are being celebrated on Aug. 12, as part of the United Nations’ International Youth Day. On this celebratory occasion, the Children’s Health Policy Centre would like to remind everyone that most mental disorders start in childhood, then persist into adulthood. These include anxiety and behaviour disorders. Given this situation, effective prevention and treatment options need to be offered early in the lifespan — for all children in need. For more information, see Vol. 3, No. 1 of the Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly.

More practitioners need CBT training

August 3, 2020

Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a highly effective treatment for childhood obsessive-compulsive disorder. This treatment involves gradually exposing children to feared situations while they practise managing their distress. Despite strong research evidence that this treatment is effective, it is still not widely available. More practitioners therefore need to be trained and supported to offer CBT. For more information, see Vol. 1, No. 3 of the Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly.



Nurses have expertise to deliver program for young moms

July 26, 2020

It might seem that people such as community workers or peer-support counsellors could deliver Nurse-Family Partnership successfully. But in US studies comparing these kinds of workers with nurses, the results were not as good. In particular, child outcomes did not improve as much as they did with nurses, and more mothers dropped out of the program early. So, the program’s developers concluded that public health nurses are essential for effective delivery.


Family ties prevent substance misuse

July 20, 2020

Families play a major role in protecting young people from problematic substance use. In particular, children typically use less alcohol and cannabis when parents have strong connections with their children, provide high levels of support and supervision, and encourage meaningful participation in the family. For more information, see Vol. 12, No. 1 of the Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly. (2018)

Most study participants reported abuse or neglect

July 13, 2020

More than half of participants in the BC Healthy Connections Project reported experiencing moderate-to-severe neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse and/or sexual abuse when they were children, at age 16 years or younger. Half (50%) also reported intimate partner violence within the past year.

Medications can help; so would more research

July 6, 2020

Many young people are prescribed medications for ADHD, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia — often with good effect. The appropriate medications can help young people to function better at home, at school and in the community. Yet more research is needed on the long-term effects — and side effects — of the psychiatric medications used to treat children, particularly research that is free from drug company involvement. For more information, see Vol. 1, No. 4 of the Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly.


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.