About SUHU

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About See Us, Hear Us 1.0

COVID and all the changes it has caused have been hard for many children, youth, and families in Saskatchewan. With this study, we want to answer the questions: “How has COVID affected the mental health of children and youth in Saskatchewan during pandemic? What are their needs for mental health services?We want to find out: 1) how common mental health problems like anxiety and depression are in children and youth in Saskatchewan; 2) how these conditions are affecting children and youth and how well they are able to cope; and 3) whether children, youth, and their families can get the help they need for their mental health and how satisfied they are with the services they’ve received since COVID began. 

The goal of this project is to provide useful data to enhance mental health services to children and youth, and support families in Saskatchewan. “The pandemic has caused enormous disruption in children’s lives,” explains Dr. Muhajarine. “We would like to know how our children and youth are faring in this pandemic, how they are coping, and whether they are getting the services and supports they need.

See Us, Hear Us: Children, youth, and families in Saskatchewan coping with mental health during the first year of COVID-19 pandemic includes three interrelated studies:

  • SUHU 1.0 - Quantitative online/telephone survey of children/youth (8-18) and parent/caregiver dyads (completed--see results below)
  • SUHU Qualitative - in-depth interviews with children/youth-parent/caregiver dyads who participated in the SUHU 1.0 survey
  • NEW! SUHU 2.0 - Quantitative online/telephone survye of children/youth (8-18) and parent/caregiver dyads (Spring 2022)

If you have questions about the survey or our research project, please email seeus.hearus@usask.ca or contact:

Dr. Nazeem Muhajarine, Principal Investigator
Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit (SPHERU)
Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, University of Saskatchewan
t: 306-966-7940  e: nazeem.muhajarine@usask.ca

 

Funders

SUHU 1.0 is funded by a Mental Heatlh Research Canada (MHRC)-Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) COVID-19 Child & Youth Mental Health Impact Grant. Funding Announcements: 

 

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SUHU Qualitative is funded by a Royal University Hospital Foundation Community Mental Health Endowment Grant.

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Announcement: SUHU 2.0

See us, Hear Us 2.0: Mental health and well-being impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children, youth, and families in Saskatchewan (SUHU 2.0) builds upon SUHU 1.0, investigating the impact of the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic on the prevalence and severity of mental health and quality of life among children and youth (8-18 years of age) and the need for and receipt of mental health services

If you and/or your child have a medical or mental health emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest open clinic or emergency room. If you are concerned that you and/or your child are a danger to yourself and/or themselves or to others, call 911 or go to the nearest open clinic or emergency room. 

If you are upset, struggling with mental health, and/or need help with how you are feeling:

    • talk to someone you trust and/or encourage your child to talk to you or another person they trust
    • connect with a health and/or mental health care provider (e.g., doctor, nurse practitioner, counsellor, social worker, psychiatrist, etc.).
    • use the mental health and COVID-19 resources available to you online or by phone, including:
      • Call 8-1-1: confidential, free, 24-hour health and mental health and addictions advice, education, and support telephone line available to the people of Saskatchewan, staffed by experienced and specially trained Registered Nurses, Registered Psychiatric Nurses, and Registered Social Workers. If you are having technical issues with accessing HealthLine 811 by dialling 811, you can call 1-877-800-0002 to be connected with HealthLine 811.Deaf and hard of hearing residents can access HealthLine 811 by using the SaskTel Relay Operator service at 18008550511.
      • Call the Kids Help Phone at any time at 1-800-668-6868 or visit https://kidshelpphone.ca/ to text, FB message, or chat 24/7:
Government of Saskatchewan Mental Health and COVID-19 Resources: Government of Canada COVID-19 Information and Resources: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html


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See Us, Hear Us Research Team

Principal Investigators:

nazeem.pngDr. Nazeem Muhajarine
Department of Community Health and Epidemiology
College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit (SPHERU)
t: 306.966.7940  e: nazeem.muhajarine@usask.ca

 

tamara.jpegDr. Tamara Hinz
Department of Psychiatry
College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan Health Authority
t: 306.844.1004 e: tamara.hinz@usask.ca

 

Researchers:

  • Daniel Adeyinka, Postdoctoral Fellow, Researcher, SPHERU and Community Health & Epidemiology, University of Saskatchewan, e: daa929@mail.usask.ca
  • Mariam Alaverdashvili, Research Facilitator, Psychiatry, USask, e: mariam.alaverdashvili@usask.ca
  • Lloyd Balbuena, Faculty, Psychiatry, USask, e: balbuena@usask.ca, t: 306.844.1306
  • Senthil Damodharan, Faculty, Psychiatry, USask and Saskatchewan Health Authority, e: skd357@mail.usask.ca
  • Kathryn Green, former Faculty, Community Health & Epidemiology, USask
  • Emma Hamid, Resident, Psychiatry, USask, e: emh859@mail.usask.ca
  • Christa, Community Council member/EGADZ Downtown Youth Centre representative
  • Natalie Kallio, Research Officer, SPHERU, USask, e: kallio@usask.ca, t: 306.966.2237
  • Thuy Le, Research Officer, Psychiatry, USask, e: le@usask.ca, t: 306.844.1293
  • Jessica McCutcheon, Survey Research Manager and Specialist, CHASR, USask, e: mccutcheon@usask.ca, t: 306.966.6525

 Student Researchers:

  • Isabelle Dena, PhD student, Community Health & Epidemiology/RSW, e: Isabelle.Dena@usask.ca
  • Vaidehi Pisolkar, PhD student, Community Health & Epidemiology, e: vap051@mail.usask.ca
  • Fady Sulaiman, Medical student, College of Medicine, USask, e: fss502@mail.usask.ca
  • Vithusha Coomaran, Medical student, College of Medicine, USask, e: vvic214@mail.usask.ca
  • Nirma Tahir, Medical student, College of Medicine, USask, e: nimra.tahir@usask.ca

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Acknowledgements

The Research Team is advised by the children, youth, and parents on our See Us-Hear Us Community Council. Immense thanks to you all for your expertise, dedication, and advice on all aspects of the project. Special thanks to Janice and Aubrie for your invaluable assistance on the See Us, Hear Us proposal.

Project Partners

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 EGADZ Saskatoon Downtown Youth Centre Inc.  Strategy for Patient Oriented Research Saskatchewan

Funders

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SUHU 1.0 Results

In this report, we present results from the See Us, Hear Us 1.0 survey (SUHU 1.0), the project’s quantitative component: researchbriefpreview07042022.png

RESEARCH BRIEF: See Us, Hear Us 1.0--Mental health expeiriences of children, youth, and families in Saskatchewan during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic

The quantitative data were collected from 510 dyads of children and youth (8-18 years of age) and their parent/caregiver via an online survey conducted between March 19 and July 27, 20211. Participants were recruited via  Canadian Hub for Applied and Social Research (CHASR) Saskatchewan Community Panel and participating Saskatchewan public and Catholic school divisions, First Nations-administered schools, and independent schools.

The survey was conducted in English and French; paper and telephone- and paper-based surveys were available upon request. Data analysis was conducted by researchers from the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit (SPHERU)

Between March to July 2021, 510 children/youth (8-18 years of age) and parent/caregiver dyads (1,020 individuals) participated in our online/telephone See Us, Hear Us survey. This sample—recruited via the Canadian Hub for Applied and Social Research (CHASR) Saskatchewan Community Panel and Saskatchewan school divisions and independent schools—is representative of the families and children in Saskatchewan.

Our team is currently analysing the data and comprehensive results will be available soon. Our preliminary analysis revealed:

  • 59% of children/youth said changes to their lives due to COVID were somewhat or a lot more bad than good. Only 16% said the changes were somewhat or lot more good than bad.
  • 37% of children/youth said that change on overall mental health was much or slightly worse during Covid (vs 4% who said slightly or much better). 15% reported lots of ups and downs. For another 7%: worse at the beginning, but now has gotten better.       
  • Family and friends, therapist/psychiatrist, teacher/school counselor, and family doctor, in that order, are those who kids turned to for help.

Demographic Characteristics of SUHU 1.0 Respondents (children and youth 8-18 and their families)

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Demographics by Ethnicity, Income

NEW:

Are the kids alright? Special Issue: Taking the Pulse of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan—in 7 charts
Preliminary results from See Us, Hear Us: Children, youth, and families in Saskatchewan coping with mental health during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic (SUHU 1.0)
February 15, 2022 (Issue 9)

Key Takeaways

  • The majority of children and youth said changes to life due to the pandemic were more negative than positive (59%), For 1 in 4, there was no real change and only 1 in 6 said the changes were more positive than negative.
  • In terms of overall changes to mental health, 38% of children and youth said the pandemic made it worse. 22% experienced fluctuations in their mental health: . About 1 in 3 said there was no real change and 4% said their overall mental health was better since the pandemic.
  • Point-in-time (i.e., in the 7 days prior to taking the survey) prevalence of moderate to high anxiety and moderate to high depression was about 1 in 10 (10% and 9% respectively),[i] and the prevalence of emotional dysregulation[ii] (i.e., inability to self-regulate emotions) measured was 24%.
  • For 1 in 3 children and youth, their quality of life was low to moderate (33.4%).[iii]
  • Kids who had more recreational screen time (>=3 hours per day) more likely to report overall mental health had worsened, experienced depression, and had lower quality of life (3 to 8 times more).
  • Those who get 8 or more hours of sleep are less likely to experience depression (94% lower) and more likely to say their mental health hadn't changed during the pandemic.

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[i] Anxiety and depression levels were measured using Revised Children’s Anxiety and Depression Scale-25 (RCADS-25). Chorpita, B. F., Yim, L. M., Moffitt, C. E., Umemoto L. A., & Francis, S. E. (2000). Assessment of symptoms of DSM-IV anxiety and depression in children: A Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 38, 835-855.

[ii] Emotional regulation measured using the Clinical Evaluation of Emotional Regulation–9 (CEER-9) tool. Pylypow, J., Quinn, D., Duncan, D., & Balbuena, L. (2020). A Measure of Emotional Regulation and Irritability in Children and Adolescents: The Clinical Evaluation of Emotional Regulation–9. Journal of Attention Disorders, 24(14), 2002–2011.

[iii] Measured using the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) KIDSCREEN-10 Index instrument developed for children and adolescents aged 8-18 years. The KIDSCREEN Group Europe. (2006). The KIDSCREEN Questionnaires - Quality of life questionnaires for children and adolescents. Handbook. Lengerich: Pabst Science Publishers.