FILE – Five year-old Nancy Murphy wears a full mask and face shield as she waits in line for her kindergarten class to enter the school at Portage Trail Community School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

FILE – Five year-old Nancy Murphy wears a full mask and face shield as she waits in line for her kindergarten class to enter the school at Portage Trail Community School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Tuesday, September 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

‘Their voice really matters’: Survey asks for input from B.C. youth on COVID’s effects

Researcher say they hope this work can affect policy changes

As the pandemic enters its second year, many people are feeling a sense of hopelessness and seeing their mental health decline.

But one group that hasn’t been heard from, said Dr. Hasina Samji, affliate investigator at BC Children’s Hospital, is children.

“There have been a lot of discussions how school closures could be good, could be bad, but have we actually asked young people how they’re doing?” asked Samji, who is also an assistant professor with SFU’s faculty of health sciences and a senior scientist at the BC Centre for Disease Control.

The data that’s come out so far has been conflicting, she added.

“Part of that is because a lot of the research to date is cross-sectional, so they do surveys at one point in time. What’s really unique about our work… is that our study is longitudinal, so we invite people to participate and then follow them over time,” Samji said.

“As we know, the pandemic is changing and so are feelings and thoughts about it.”

Many of the effects people are feeling are cumulative.

“In the beginning we might have been running on some adrenaline,” she said. “As we know, the winter is never a good time for mental health and wellbeing in general, and then compounded with some of the impacts of the pandemic we anticipate this is going to result in some adverse impacts for people.

The survey, a partnership between BC Children’s Hospital, the University of British Columbia and SFU, is looking for kids and youth over the age of seven. Participants will be asked to fill in a 20-30 minute only survey about their experiences.

Researchers are particularly keen to hear from a variety of groups, especially those underrepresented in the data overall. Samji said the project is reaching out to people living in rural and remote communities, Indigenous peoples across the entire province and working with groups on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

“Their voice really matters,” she said. “By them taking the time, and we acknowledge that it does take a half-hour of time, they can give their experience a voice and hopefully help create that support.”

For more information, visit www.bcchr.ca/news/survey-seeks-learn-about-mental-health-impacts-covid-19-children-youth-and-adults.

ALSO READ: For B.C. seniors in care, it’s been nearly a year of isolation to combat COVID-19 outbreaks


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirusmental health

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(File photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo to increase fees for disposal of mattresses

Current rate of $15 per unit not enough to cover recycling

A screenshot depicting the Shelly Creek watershed. The watershed itself is outlined in white and blue line in the middle signifies the creek. (Submitted photo)
Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society to conduct two projects and mail out surverys in Parksville

Vice-president: ‘I have some good news, some bad news, and some really ugly news about Shelly Creek’

(PQB News file photo)
Streetscape construction and utility upgrades on Bagshaw Street in Parksville will soon begin

Work will include the replacement and upgrading of approximately 360 metres of utilities and roadway

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Most Read