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COVID-19 and the Mental Health of Adolescents in British Columbia.

Authors :
Friesen, Jane
Krauth, Brian
Wilmer, Brett
Source :
Canadian Public Policy. Jun2024, Vol. 50 Issue 2, p256-276. 21p.
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We use linked individual-level data on school enrollment, physician services received, and prescription medications from September 2016 to March 2022 to measure the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated disruptions on the monthly frequency of mental health treatments received by adolescents in British Columbia. The results suggest substantial increases for non-Indigenous girls whose home language was English in treatment for depression and anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), eating disorders, and other mental health conditions. Girls whose home language was not English also show increases in treatment for depression and anxiety, and Indigenous girls show increases in treatment for ADHD. In contrast, boys show no change or even reductions in treatment for most mental health conditions. The exception is conduct disorders, which increase among boys whose home language was English. Treatment for substance use disorders declines among these boys, Indigenous boys, and Indigenous girls. Effects vary somewhat by socio-economic status, but we find no evidence that they vary substantially by schooling mode. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


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Canadian Public Policy
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