‘Keep the focus on kids’ — Waddell

May 29, 2023

A Canadian South Asian lifestyle magazine based in Vancouver, DARPAN, recently interviewed Children’s Health Policy Centre director Charlotte Waddell.

The feature, called the Darpan 10, is directed at community and thought leaders, addressing them with 10 questions relating to their role. Here, for example, is one of the questions:

“As part of your education and work that you have done with children, can you share some insights that would help better the public education system as a whole?”

Waddell’s answer:

“A huge lesson for me, in thinking of the research and the young people I have cared for as a child and youth psychiatrist, is to address social disparities in our society. Again, I am considering adversities such as socioeconomic disadvantage, colonialism, and racism. These problems do not cause all childhood mental disorders. But they affect kids unequally.

“So some kids have to carry higher burdens than others, through no fault of their own. In turn, the stresses associated with kids having to take these extra burdens can translate into higher rates of certain mental disorders over time. So it would help to address these disparities, treat all kids well, and ensure adequate prevention and treatment services for mental health difficulties. In turn, it will help the public education system if more kids are flourishing.”

The entire interview can be seen here.