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
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.
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.
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.
Informing UCalgary student wellness initiatives related to mental health and addictions
Dr. Jacqueline Smith is looking at UCalgary students' experience with cannabis.