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

St. Michael’s Church is the regular venue for the Chemainus Classical Concerts series. (File photo by Don Bodger)
Chemainus Classical Concerts continually re-evaluating its options

Classical music fans hopeful of a return to series events if it can be done safely

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Missing woman’s remains recovered from Ladysmith harbour

The remains of a 60 year old woman were recovered after a boat fire took her life on Feb. 27

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
Cowichan Valley mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

It’s been almost a year since the last public performance inside the Chemainus Theatre. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Lead donors pledge $60,000 in matching campaign at the Chemainus Theatre

Perrys, Hiltons and Duncan Iron Works help to Bridge the Gap during COVID shutdown

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Intiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

This was the scene outside North Saanich’s Parkland Secondary School after an attempted but unsuccessful break-and-enter into the school torched an ATM inside of it. Sidney/North Saanich RCMP did not make any arrests and currently lack suspects as the investigation continues. Members of the public who may have witnessed something or possess other information can contact police at (250) 656-3931 or to Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. (Submitted)
Money to burn: burglars torch North Saanich high school ATM

Police dogs searched the exterior and interior of the school after early morning break-and-enter

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read