Event Details

The Fourth Wave: Child and Family Health and Well-being During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the global recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic begin, there is speculation that a “Fourth Wave” of poor mental health and well-being is emerging among children and families. The public health measures implemented to mitigate COVID-19 transmission, including the closure of schools and stay-at-home orders, have impacted children and families. It is important to understand how families were affected by these measures and discuss ways to support them moving forward. This webinar focuses on Ontario-specific data from two sources: a province-wide survey that was launched by the Offord Centre for Child Studies from May to June 2020, which focused on caregiver and family functioning during COVID-19; and community and clinical data from a Collaborative Mental Health project from Sick Kids Hospital, which focused on mental health-specific outcomes. Informed by an environmental scan of 39 home visitation programs, we then discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the public health nursing workforce and home-visiting services in the Healthy Babies, Healthy Children and Nurse-Family Partnership® Programs. Qualitative data from nurses’ experiences with visiting families during the pandemic will also be shared.    

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Summarize Ontario data on the impact of the COVID-19 public health measures on children and families’ health and well-being, with a focus on mental health
  2. Describe the effect of COVID-19 public health nursing workforce redeployment on home-visiting services in Ontario
  3. Describe how to plan for potential lockdowns and how families can be supported in the future

Presenter(s): Andrea Gonzalez, Jennifer Crosbie, Susan Jack and Karen Campbell

Dr. Andrea Gonzalez is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University. She is also a core member of the Offord Centre for Child Studies and holds a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Family Health and Preventive Interventions. Dr. Gonzalez’ research program focuses on the developmental consequences of early life adversity; the impact of traumatic experience on brain development, behavioural outcomes and health; the intergenerational transmission of risk; and developing and evaluating evidence-based preventive interventions.

Dr. Jennifer Crosbie is a Clinical Psychologist and Health Clinician Scientist within the Department of Psychiatry at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). Dr. Crosbie is an Associate Scientist within the SickKids Research Institute, Neuroscience and Mental Health Program, and Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. Dr. Crosbie is the recipient of the Susan J. Bradley Health Clinician Scientist Award and an O’Brien Scholar. Dr. Crosbie’s research aims to bridge the gap between bench and bedside through combining insights from behavioural and cognitive contributions to mental health at both a clinical and a population level to advance the understanding of psychopathology and to develop novel interventions. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Crosbie pivoted to explore the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of children, youth and families.

Dr. Susan Jack is a Professor, School of Nursing and Associate Member, Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, at McMaster University. Her program of research focuses on community-based approaches to the prevention of family violence and the development and evaluation of public health nurse home visitation interventions to promote maternal and child health outcomes. She brings methodological expertise to the conduct of applied qualitative health research and mixed methods studies. 

Dr. Karen Campbell is a post-doctoral scholar at Western University, Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing. She completed her Master of Nursing at Ryerson University and received a PhD in Nursing from McMaster University. Dr. Campbell has over 20 years of experience as a Registered Nurse. Her clinical background is in public health nursing, with a focus on reproductive and child health. Dr. Campbell’s program of research is at the intersection of women's health and physical and social geography. She is interested in how community health nursing intervention programs can improve health and quality of life for women experiencing health inequities across diverse geographical settings, including rural communities and women with disabilities.   



The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.


Public Health Ontario is committed to complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodations to participate in this event, please contact 647-260-7100 or events@oahpp.ca.

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Updated 2 June 2021