Need an expert? World Mental Health Day / Mental Illness Awareness Week - Youth

Posted on Thursday, October 8, 2020

Mother leaning head on adolescent's shoulder
Members of the media may directly contact the following experts:

Nafissa Ismail (English and French)
Holder of the University Research Chair in Stress and Mental Health, Associate Professor, School of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences; Director, NISE Laboratory.

Nafissa Ismail’s work focuses on how exposure to stress during critical periods of development can have profound, long-lasting effects on brain function and can increase the risk of psychopathology later in life.

“World Mental Health Day is more important than ever this year. With the current pandemic, many have noted a deterioration of their mental health and various factors contribute to this deterioration. Many Canadians are experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety since the start of the pandemic. We are in this situation together, so let’s help one another get through it together!”

William Gardner (English only)
Professor, School of Epidemiology and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine.

William Gardner is a child psychologist and mental health services researcher. He studies child and population mental health, self-harming behaviour and substance misuse and health system change.

“Most youth will be fine, but the COVID pandemic has stressed them in important ways. Some will need mental health services and Canada has no spare capacity to supply additional services.”

Dr. Ian Colman (English only)
Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Mental Health Epidemiology.

Dr. Colman’s work focuses on the mental health of teens and adolescents and his recently published study examined how self-harm can be contagious among adolescents.  

“Teens are strongly influenced by their peers and, while that can be healthy, it can also be dangerous. It’s important for parents to talk to their children about their mental health.”



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