See us, hear us 2.0-Mental health and well-being impacts of the COVID‑19 pandemic on children, youth, and families in Saskatchewan
It is generally believed that school-aged children and youth are impacted by COVID‑19 to a lesser degree–certainly when compared to older adults–but this is based on a relatively narrow set of outcomes such as case rates, hospitalizations, and deaths. There are still many questions that need answers. Personal stories about these challenges abound but, to date, there is no systematically collected information about these challenges. The aim of this project, therefore, is to estimate the impact of the second year of COVID‑19 pandemic on the prevalence and severity of mental health and quality of life among children (8-11y), adolescents (12-15y), and youth (16-18y) and the need for and receipt of mental health services. Building on a study currently being completed in terms of recruitment of child and parent/caregiver dyads in Saskatchewan, this project extends it to the future: investigating children/youth mental health into the second year of the pandemic. Four questions are addressed: 1. Are children’s and youth’s mental health and quality of life outcomes different in 2022 in comparison to the outcomes in April-July 2021? 2. What coping strategies are utilized, if any, and what is the association between these coping strategies and mental health and quality of life outcomes? 3. What role have mental health services played in helping young people deal with the challenges of the pandemic? 4. How are sociodemographic characteristics (e.g., sex at birth, self-declared gender, disability, family income, culture/ethnicity, immigrant status) associated with these variables? The ultimate aim is to provide evidence-based recommendations to decision-makers and practitioners that, if acted on, will improve the mental health well-being of children and youth in Saskatchewan.