Understanding the impacts of COVID-19-related school closures on children’s mental health

In Progress

Child and Youth Health


Millions of children in Ontario are affected by COVID-19-related school closures, but we don’t yet know the extent of the impacts.

Schools serve as the epicenter of children’s learning, development, and emotional as well as social well-being. Schools can also act as important access points for children facing barriers to health care. How will school closures affect children’s mental health and development?

The purpose of this study is to learn about children’s and families’ experiences during and following the COVID-19 pandemic, and to develop the right programs to support their mental health and well-being in this new reality.

The Outcome

We will use the results to develop and evaluate new, targeted programs to be delivered by the Model Schools Pediatric Health Initiative. This innovative initiative brings developmental and mental-health care to more than 2,000 children in 50 inner-city schools. Our goal is to scale our programs and learnings to other community pediatric clinics across Toronto and Ontario.

Child and Youth Health


Dr. Sloane Freeman

A pediatrician in St. Michael's Hospital’s Inner City Health Program, Dr. Sloane Freeman has dedicated her career to groundbreaking work and research bringing school-based health care to under-served communities.

Dr. Justine Cohen-Silver

Dr. Cohen-Silver's research focuses on paediatric social determinants of health screening and intervention, and school-based health services in disadvantaged communities.


  • Dr. Brendan Andrade (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)
  • Dr. Kevin Thorpe (St. Michael's Hospital)


  • Tamlyn Freedman
  • Shajitha Rasiah


  • St. Michael's Hospital Foundation

Contact Info

Dr. Sloane Freeman

Principal Investigator