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University of Calgary studies impact of COVID-19 on student mental health

By Admin User on October 15, 2020

Researchers from the University of Calgary are examining how Alberta students are handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study asks youth aged 12 to 18 to share their experiences through an online survey.

Alberta Health Services psychologist, Lenny Moffat, supports the study. He says he is noticing new trends in adolescent mental health.

“I’ve noticed an increase in social disconnection. Many people have lost access to things that were important to them. Resources and supports such as recreation if they’re on sports teams, opportunities to go hang-out with friends and even just opportunities to meet new people. I think that’s caused an increase in reported loneliness/depressive symptoms.”

The findings from the survey will be used so schools can be better equipped to cope with student mental health struggles.

“I think it’s new territory, so as we move forward and more research comes, and more experience on the school end comes, I think they’re adjusting as we go and trying to adapt to the needs of the students,” said Moffat.

Four metro school divisions are part of the study: two in Edmonton and two in Calgary. As of last week, over 1,500 students have completed the survey. Researchers hope 3,000 youth participate by the end of the school year.



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