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

Students from SD62 stepped up to help members in the community with the annual 10,000 Tonight food drive. This year’s organizers had to adapt during the campaign as COIVD-19 public health orders changed. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore students step up to make sure community members don’t go without

Students of SD62 are this year’s recipient of the Youth Volunteer Award

Millstream Village is welcoming a new Marshalls location March 9. (Photo courtesy GWL Realty Advisors)
New Marshalls store in Langford brings boost to women in need

Retailer will hold opening ceremony in Millstream Village March 9

A cat died in this house fire in Sidney afternoon. The fire started on the house’s deck and spread from that point. Sidney Volunteer Fire Department Chief Brett Mikkelsen said the permanent presence of crews at the Community Safety Building prevented worse damage. (Photo courtesy of Clayton Firth)
Sidney house fire kills cat, causes extensive damage

Official says fire started on deck and damage to the house could have been worse

Each recipient of a 2021 Local Hero Award will receive a hand-carved paddle created by Haida artist John Bellis.
Meet the man behind the awards

Haida artist John Bellis hand-carved this year’s Local Hero awards

Abstract Developments is donating $75,000 to support community programming at The Cridge Centre for the Family. (Courtesy of The Cridge Centre)
Victoria developer builds support for community programs

Abstract Developments donates $75,000 to The Cridge Centre for the Family

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Search underway for missing woman after boat catches fire in Ladysmith harbour

A large boat caught fire on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 27

Lone orca from a pod that made its way north from Georgia Strait and into Discovery Passage on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Photo by Ella Smiley/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/Comoxvalleywildlifesightings/?ref=page_internal" target="_blank">Comox Valley Wildlife Sightings </a>
Island wildlife viewers thrilled by close view of passing Orca pod

Group gives wildlife photographers a classic opportunity to view them off Campbell River shoreline

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Most Read