SickKids Centre for Brain & Mental Health Grand Rounds

May 6, 2021

In partnership with the Edwin S.H. Leong Centre for Healthy Children

Title: What have we learned about child mental health during the pandemic?


Registration Link (Please select May 6 in dropdown menu):

Presentation 1:  Dr. Jala Rizeq and Dr. Katherine Tombeau Cost

Title: COVID-19 Trifecta: Economic challenges, stress, and mental health

Learning objectives:

  1. Learn about the impact of restrictions and social isolation on parents' and children's stress and mental health

  2. Understand the extent of the economic and material challenges experienced by families as a result of COVID-19 restrictions

  3. Identify factors that may make some families susceptible to the negative sequalae of the COVID-19 restrictions

Speaker Bios:

Jala Rizeq joined SickKids in September 2020 as a clinical research fellow. She is funded through the Research Training Centre Clinician Scientist Training Program (CSTP) Fellowship and the Centre for Brain &. Mental Health as a Kimel Family Fellow. Her research focuses on children and youth’s mental health, with a particular interest in delineating pathways from early stress to later emerging mental health difficulties. Jala is working within a larger research collaborative assessing the impact of COVID-19 on mental health within families. She is also involved in a research program focused on developing and evaluating novel technology-based programs that assess and treat neurocognitive deficits in children and youth with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Katherine Tombeau Cost is a research associate in the Department of Psychiatry at the Hospital for Sick Children. Prior to joining Sick Kids in 2016, she completed a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Tulane University in New Orleans, and a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Toronto and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health working on the MAVAN (Maternal Adversity Vulnerability and Neurodevelopment) project. Katherine applies innovative research and statistical methods to understand the differential  contributions of biological, psychological, and sociological variables to parent and child mental health and well-being.

Presentation 2: Dr. Natasha Saunders

Title: Virtual mental health care for children and adolescents through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learning objectives:

  1. To present select mental health system indicators for children and adolescents through the COVID-19 pandemic

  2. To understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has been a stimulus for rapid system transformation to virtual mental health care

  3. To understand uptake of virtual mental health care by disease groupings

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Natasha Saunders is a pediatrician and clinician-investigator in the Division of Pediatric Medicine at The Hospital for Sick Children and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. She is also an Adjunct Scientist in the Mental Health and Addictions and Life Stage programs ICES. She is a health services research and epidemiologist whose research interests include mental health system performance, access to and quality of care for immigrant children and youth with a specific focus on injuries and mental health, and primary care delivery and using large, linked health and administrative databases.

Twitter: @dr_nr_saunders

Presentation 3: Dr. Alene Toulany

Title: COVID-19 and health inequities: Do virtual mental health care visits risk leaving some children and adolescents behind?

Learning objectives:

  1. To discuss how the rapid shift  to expanded virtual mental health care risks creating barriers to care

  2. To explore the association of health inequities and virtual mental health care uptake among children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Alene Toulany, MD, MSc, FRCPC is a Pediatrician and Adolescent Medicine Specialist at The Hospital for Sick Children and Assistant Professor in the Department of Paediatrics and IHPME at the University of Toronto. She is also an Associate Scientist-Track Investigator at the SickKids Research Institute and ICES Fellow in the Life Stage and Mental Health and Addictions research programs. Dr. Toulany co-leads the Adolescent Medicine Consultation Service and Clinics at SickKids. Her research interests include quality of care and health services outcomes for young people with complex, chronic medical and co-morbid mental illness and the transition period to adult care.

Twitter: @DrAleneToulany

Presentation 4:  Dr. Tricia Williams

Title: We need help but…Implementation of parenting virtual support during COVID-19 using an established eHealth intervention

Learning objectives:

  1. To share lessons learned about feasibility and acceptability of the virtual parenting program, I-InTERACT-North during COVID-19 from perspectives of parents, therapists and program coordinators.

  2. To introduce the I-InTERACT-stepped care adaptation in partnership with families of the province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorders network (POND).

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Tricia S. Williams, Ph.D., C.Psych., ABPP

Clinical Neuropsychologist, Health Clinician Scientist

Dr. Tricia Williams leads the Neonatal Neuropsychological services for assessment and consultation for children and families following neonatal brain injury and associated medical conditions. Williams’s research focuses on neuropsychological outcomes following early brain injury and the importance of supporting the family in optimizing resilience. She is the PI of the Surviving and Thriving I-InTERACT-North feasibility trial and CIHR funded Stepping Up to COVID-19 Virtual mental health trial for at- risk children and families in collaboration with the Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorders (POND) network.