Families face unprecedented stress due to COVID-19

Children and youth have support thanks to donors

Winnipeg, MB – As families in Manitoba face unprecedented levels of stress due to the pandemic, generous community members are offering support. Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba donors have funded mental health research and virtual care services at a time when kids and families are facing extraordinary challenges.

According to Parental Stress during the Pandemic research conducted by Dr. Leslie Roos, clinical psychologist and investigator at Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM), more than 50 per cent of Manitoba families have reported significant levels of mental health concerns during the pandemic.

“Families are facing high, unprecedented stress right now and this can have a profound effect on everyone in the house,” says Roos. “Untreated parent psychological distress, particularly when it’s persistent and severe, can contribute to family health impairments. We want to better understand the nature of needs to support families right now and reduce the long-term impacts of this stressful time.”

Donations to Children’s Hospital Foundation cover the annual operating costs of CHRIM, where 270 internationally renowned researchers work to understand childhood disease and many have been on the forefront of COVID-19 research since the beginning of the pandemic.

In 2020, thanks to donations and initiatives, like the Sobeys Inc. Family of Support, Dr. Laurence Katz, Medical Director of Child and Adolescent Mental Health at HSC Winnipeg, launched a pilot for the Child and Adolescent Rural and Remote emergent Telehealth program for children and youth. Previously, many child and adolescent kids with emergent mental health needs were transported to Winnipeg from rural and First Nations communities. Now, a psychiatrist is available virtually through telehealth seven days a week and patients will be seen within 24 hours.

“As we don’t have psychiatric services in all communities in Manitoba, if those kids had emergent needs requiring assessment by psychiatry those kids, historically, were transferred down to Winnipeg,” says Dr. Laurence Katz. “Expanding virtual care services allows children to be assessed closer to home and their family supports.”

The Foundation is celebrating donors’ contributions to initiatives like these in the Annual Gratitude Report and at its Annual Gratitude Meeting.

In 2020, despite the challenges and uncertainty of the global pandemic, more than 14,800 individuals and organizations generously raised over $8.9 million for child health care and research at HSC Children’s Hospital and CHRIM.

“It’s thanks to donors’ generosity that these important projects for kids’ health are possible. Researchers and clinicians are able to do ground-breaking work with donated funds,” says Stefano Grande, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba. “The Foundation is deeply grateful for the community’s unwavering support.”

To donate to child and youth mental health in your community visit goodbear.ca.

Celebrating 50 years of community impact (1971-2021)
Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba is dedicated to ensuring that every child treated at HSC Winnipeg Children’s Hospital has the best care and experience possible.

Since 1971, with incredible donor support, the Foundation has raised more than $150 million to help sick and injured children from Manitoba, Northwestern Ontario, and Nunavut. Funds support important programs that bring comfort to sick children, life-saving equipment, and health research to improve the lives of children everywhere. Let’s make anything possible. Learn about your impact at goodbear.ca.

For more information:
Sara Shyiak
Marketing & Communications Specialist
Children’s Hospital Foundation
C: 204-794-0094
E: sshyiak@hsc.mb.ca