Child and Family Mental Health

We are pursuing

Improved mental health for all children and families through research and education that derives from, informs and directly impacts health systems and services

Key areas of focus

  • Prenatal and postpartum mental health screening
  • Parent-infant mental health 
  • Healthy developmental trajectories and resiliency 
  • Mental health interventions and health services research

To mitigate toxic stress and promote child and family mental health across the lifespan, international guidelines recommend screening and early intervention for pregnant women, mothers, fathers and their young children. Currently, such services are sparse in Alberta and not well integrated into routine well-child or well-family care.

Evidence is still lacking around optimal screening, health promotion and intervention strategies to improve mental health from preconception through early childhood. Also missing are strategies to scale up these interventions for local and global impact.

Through existing local, provincial, national and international partnerships and collaborations, Child and Family Mental Health researchers and their trainees are designing and evaluating translational science models to influence practice and policy to achieve our goal of improved mental health for all children and families.

Living the plan

Increasing the less than four per cent of women who currently receive any kind of pre-natal mental health care

HOPE Digital Mental Health Platform helps pregnant women and new mothers access support

Dr. Dawn Kingston developed HOPE to help more pregnant women and new mothers access the individualized emotional health supports they need.

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Addressing mental health in new mothers and improving the parent-child relationship

Addressing mental health in new mothers and improving the parent-child relationship

Dr. Nicole Letourneau's VID-KIDS project helps mothers with postpartum depression to recognize cues from their babies, what they may mean and how they can respond.

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Improving school readiness for kids who have faced adverse childhood experiences

Improving school readiness for kids facing adverse childhood experiences

Dr. Carla Ginn examines the difference early intervention can make for children and their families living with low income, mental health challenges, addiction and social isolation.

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Informing UCalgary student wellness initiatives related to mental health and addictions

Informing UCalgary student wellness initiatives related to mental health and addictions

Dr. Jacqueline Smith is looking at UCalgary students' experience with cannabis.

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