Did You Know?

Behavioural therapy can treat ADHD

October 14, 2019

October is ADHD Awareness month in Canada. There is good research evidence that Behavioural Therapy reduces attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms and improves children’s social skills. This therapy involves caregivers and teachers rewarding children for “on task” behaviours, ignoring minor misbehaviours and using “time outs” for more challenging behaviours. For more information, see Vol 7, No. 2 of the Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly.

Make sure treatments are always based on research

October 7, 2019

World Mental Health Day occurs this year on Oct. 10. And it’s Mental Health Awareness Week from Oct. 6 to 12. To mark these two important events, the Children’s Health Policy Centre emphasizes that there are effective treatments for all the childhood mental disorders. There are also effective prevention programs for the most common ones. So, policymakers and practitioners should turn to these research-informed interventions first — to ensure that children and families get the best possible help. In addition, ineffective or unproven interventions such as unevaluated therapies or inappropriate use of medications should not be supported by policy-makers or practitioners. For more information, see Vol. 1, No. 1 of the Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly

Indigenous kids need fair funding

September 30, 2019

Sept. 30, 2019 marks Orange shirt day, in recognition of the harm the residential school system did to children’s sense of self-esteem. Canada’s history includes the forced removal of many tens of thousands of Indigenous children from their families and communities, causing mental health effects over generations. Indigenous people have addressed this legacy, in part, by recreating their own governance structures and by running their own service agencies. Yet other Canadians can do more as well. As a society, we need to tackle the long-standing underfunding of basic health, education and social services for Indigenous children and families — addressing basic inequities compared with non-Indigenous children and families.

Early program addresses early adversity

September 23, 2019

Nurse-Family Partnership starts sooner than any other early childhood program, in early pregnancy. This allows it to influence development right from the start. This also means that the program has the potential to profoundly alter the trajectory of children’s lives, by focusing on helping families who are coping with adversities such as low income and housing insecurity. A journal article in BMC Public Health  provides a baseline look at the B.C.-based study, currently ongoing.

Scientific evaluation studies program for moms & babies

September 16, 2019

The BC Healthy Connections Project is the first Canadian scientific evaluation of the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program. NFP aims to help young first-time mothers and their children by providing intensive home visits by specially-trained public health nurses, starting early in pregnancy. The goals — as can be seen in the study’s baseline report —  are to improve children’s mental health and development, while also improving the mothers’ lives.

Reduce suicide by treating underlying disorders

September 9, 2019

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for 12- to 18-year-olds in BC (following motor vehicle accidents). Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019 is World Suicide Prevention Day, aimed at raising awareness of the risks of suicide and funding suicide prevention activities around the globe. Many suicide-related deaths could be prevented by treating the underlying disorders that put young people at risk — particularly depression and problematic substance use. For more information, see Vol. 3, No. 4 of the Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly.