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Preliminary findings shared from COVID-19 child mental health research study
3 minute read

Preliminary findings shared from COVID-19 child mental health research study

Summary:

70 per cent of children and youth surveyed reported worse mental health during the initial spring lockdowns.

In the spring, SickKids brought together four leading child mental health research teams to understand how COVID-19 emergency measures have affected the mental health and wellbeing of children and families. Now, they’re able to share preliminary findings from their ongoing study.

70 per cent of children and youth surveyed reported worse mental health during the initial spring lockdowns. Greater stress from social isolation was the most significant risk factor for worse mental health. The study team says safe social interactions are critical for mental health during COVID-19 waves.

These preliminary findings are under review for publication by a peer-reviewed journal. Read more about the initial study launch.

We asked about the mental health impact of COVID-19 among children 2-18 years of age. Over 70 per cent reported worse mental health during the initial COVID-19 lockdowns. This might look like feeling lonely, overwhelmed, sleepless, worried, sad, irritable, anxiety, stressed. Greater stress from isolation is the most significant risk factor for worse mental health. Safe social interactions are critical for mental health during COVID-19 waves. Please follow local public health guidance. Stay tuned for more results from our ongoing Ontario COVID-19 kids' mental health study. 

Thanks to our partners TARGetKids!, Spit for Science and Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorders Network. 

This study was supported by the Ministry of Health, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, the SickKids Centre for Brain and Mental Health, the Edwin Leong Centre for Healthy Kids and SickKids Foundation.

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