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

The goal of the group is to help women owned businesses recover from the pandemic and to assist women to become angel investors and women owned or co-owned businesses to better access capital.
Okanagan women’s investor fund launched to aid women-owned businesses

Twenty-five women have formed a new Okanagan angel investment fund

It's tick season in South Okanagan.
Tick season has started in South Okanagan

A Penticton adventure company collected 200 ticks last year to be studied for Lyme Disease

Forty-eight vaccination clinics will open across Interior Health beginning March 15. (Canadian Press)
48 COVID-19 vaccine clinics to open across Interior Health

Select groups can book appointments starting Monday

(File photo)
COLUMN: How to help your young reluctant reader

Library has resources to help children

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Five Kelowna writers are featured in an anthology that launched in time for International Women's Day. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
International Women’s Day: Book exploring fears features Kelowna writers

The book has launched in time for International Women’s Day

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

(File photo)
RCMP seek witnesses after 2 different reports of man chasing children in Kelowna

Both incidents occured around Dougall Road in Rutland

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

Noah Vaten(left) having a cigarette out front of the Kelowna Law Courts on a brief break during his manslaughter trial on March 8, 2021. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Accused Kelowna killer ‘blacked out’ on cocaine, kicked cop shop window looking for help

Video of Noah Vaten’s interrogation shown during manslaughter trial details night of Canada Day killing in the accused’s own words

(Black Press Media files)
Hosts charged, attendees facing COVID fines after Vancouver police bust party at condo

Police had previously received 10 complains about that condo

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. A joint federal and B.C. government housing program announced today aims to help people living in up to 25,000 vulnerable households pay their rent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Federal, B.C. governments announce $517-million rent aid program to help vulnerable

Benefits for those not eligible for B.C.’s Rental Assistance Program or Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters

(BC SPCA)
Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Most Read