Local Research Team Publishes Findings on Acute Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children’s Mental Health in Southwestern Ontario
Provincial government awards additional support to expand the project
WINDSOR, ON, September 24, 2020 - Local researchers have published their initial findings on the acute impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s mental health in Southwestern Ontario. The findings include:

  • Children and parents reported increased distress and decreased well-being such as loneliness and unhappiness;
  • Children and parents reported higher anxiety and depression, and parents reported higher irritability; and
  • Children’s perception that social support is available from family and friends was associated with lower symptoms of generalized anxiety, depression, irritability, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The research project was initially funded through the University of Windsor’s Office of the Vice-President of Research and Innovation and WE-SPARK Health Institute. The study has now been awarded one of eight new research projects funded by the Government of Ontario to extend the work to a larger area of Southwestern Ontario. 

“These results demonstrate the need to expand the research efforts to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic on our children” states Dr. Lance Rappaport, lead investigator. “We are excited and grateful for the additional support from the provincial government.” 

The authors of the study include University of Windsor students, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Results of the research will inform the development and deployment of mental health resources for children in Windsor-Essex and across Southwestern Ontario.


Media Contact:

Cathy Mombourquette
WE-SPARK Health Institute
About WE-SPARK Health Institute
WE-SPARK Health Institute is a partnership between Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, St. Clair College, Windsor Regional Hospital and the University of Windsor that brings together health research strengths, expertise, and infrastructure from across the Windsor-Essex region. Its mission is to enhance the health, well-being and care of people through transformative research and knowledge translation.