New study assesses the impact of COVID-19 on kids’ mental health

Rio Tinto supports BC Children’s Hospital to help fund important study to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s mental health in B.C.

Study will provide immediate support to struggling kids and youth, and help identify needed mental health resources not currently available.


Rio Tinto is proud to support BC Children’s Hospital to help fund a new study led by pediatric mental health experts aimed at better understanding how the pandemic has impacted children’s mental health.

“The pandemic has triggered concerns around the resources available to respond to the anticipated surge of mental health needs in our kids,” said Dr. Quynh Doan, Director of Clinical Research at BC Children’s Hospital and lead researcher on the study. “To address this concern, we must first identify how often children and youth are having mental health concerns during the pandemic, what types and how severe these concerns are, and how best to connect families with helpful resources and support services.”

Through a simple 15 to 30-minute online survey and an electronic assessment tool developed by Dr. Doan and her team, the results will help measure how much and in what manner the pandemic has affected the social and psychological wellness of the province’s children and youth. To date, the study has enrolled more than 350 B.C. families with children aged 6 to 17 years old and preliminary results suggest up to two thirds of children and youth surveyed may be impacted by mental health challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Doan and her team are continuing to recruit families across the province to participate, particularly families in the Northern Health and Interior regions, with an aim to enroll more than 500 kids and families.

“Mental health and well-being is a priority for Rio Tinto and we are proud to be supporting a project that is seeking to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of youth in BC.” —Affonso Bizon, general manager, Rio Tinto BC Works

“When we think of health, we often think of our physical health over our mental health. Mental health and well-being is a priority for Rio Tinto and we are proud to be supporting a project that is seeking to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of youth in BC. Our support of BC Children’s Hospital, the only hospital devoted exclusively to the care of children, will benefit youth and families across BC, including communities within the Northern Health Region where Rio Tinto operates,” said Affonso Bizon, general manager, Rio Tinto BC Works.

“We are so grateful to Rio Tinto’s support of such an important study,” said Maria Faccio, Vice President & Chief Philanthropy Officer at BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. “It is donor-funded studies like this that allow experts at BC Children’s to continue to do what they do best, which is to provide the best care possible for kids even during the most challenging times. The pandemic has shone a spotlight on kids’ mental health, and thanks to the support of donors like Rio Tinto, experts at BC Children’s can help ensure kids and families have the right resources during this critical time.”

Please visit here to learn more about the study and how to participate.

Rio Tinto team member collage

About Rio Tinto in Canada
Rio Tinto is the largest mining and metals business operating in Canada today, with more than 15,000 people working at over 25 sites and operations across the country. We produce iron ore for steel, aluminium for cars and smart phones, titanium for household products, and diamonds that set the standard for responsible. In British Columbia, Rio Tinto operates the newly modernised BC Works aluminium smelter in Kitimat and the Kemano Powerhouse, a hydropower facility supplied by the Nechako reservoir.

About BC Children’s Hospital Foundation
BC Children’s Hospital is the only hospital in British Columbia devoted exclusively to the care of children, and is one of the few pediatric medical centres in North America with a world-class acute care centre, research institute, mental health facility and rehabilitation centre all on a single campus. Leading experts at BC Children’s provide a specialized level of expertise, innovative therapies and kid-focused care that can’t be found anywhere else in the province, including for the sickest and most seriously injured. At BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, we have a vision that every child is healthy and able to fulfill their hopes and dreams. The generosity of donors fuels our ability to help conquer childhood illnesses and address the biggest health challenges that face kids today. Please follow us at @bcchf or visit for more information.

For more information:

Simon Letendre | Rio Tinto Canada | | +1 514 796 4973
Judy Hsu | BC Children’s Hospital Foundation | | 778-668-6224

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