COVID-19 Effects on Mental Health and Service Provision on Children and Families: The MY LIFE Experience

Children with co-occurring physical and mental illness, or multimorbidity, have poorer quality of life and use more health services. Their parents also often experience poor mental health. These burdens are likely amplified by COVID-19 and the subsequent countermeasures to reduce transmission.

Understanding the extent to which COVID-19 has affected the mental health of these vulnerable children and their families along with understanding the effects of the current shift to virtual mental health care is needed. Doing so will help to support these individuals during COVID-19 and for planning for future crises. We will engage families enroled in our ongoing longitudinal study, MY LIFE to:

  • Investigate the acute changes in the mental health of children and parents in the time prior to, during, and after federal- and provincial-mandated COVID-19 countermeasures
  • Examine if the provision of virtual mental health services (i.e., tele/video medicine) to children, in response to COVID-19, is family-centred, and model factors associated with family-centred care
  • Understand child and parent perceptions of resource or health care needs for individual and family mental health

Findings will inform the extent to which COVID-19 and future global health crises affect the mental health of vulnerable children and their families.

This study is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.