Pandemic mental health impact ADHD - Pediatric Research Foundation
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Impact de la pandémie sur la santé mentale des jeunes vivants avec un trouble déficitaire de l'attention avec ou sans hyperactivité (TDAH) - COMPASS QUÉBEC

The mental health of youth and its evolution during the COVID-19 pandemic are concerning on a number of fronts. Unfortunately, the data available at this point do not allow for concluding that the described emotional shifts are a direct result of the pandemic. More specifically, because some studies failed to identify groups at greater risk from the pandemic, our ability to provide support to those most in need remains limited.

The COMPASS project seeks to generate ongoing scientific data to better understand the reality of our adolescents and to foster initiatives in support of the health and well-being of youth. Originally launched in 2012, COMPASS is run in four provinces and three territories.

Number of children reached

10% of the population under the age of 24 is diagnosed with ADHD in Quebec.


Preliminary data from a COMPASS project analysis of the pandemic’s impact on the mental health of youth were presented at the provincial mother-child research conference. While these findings did not support the assumption of a deterioration of youth mental health at the onset of the pandemic, they also did not focus on groups based on vulnerability. It will thus be important to investigate how these indicators have evolved, especially for certain sub-groups. Ultimately, the expected outcomes will be national in scope. The growing needs associated with the mental health of youth, specifically those who are vulnerable, during the COVID-19 pandemic could be elucidated. Supplementary resources or improvement of existing intervention methods could be planned and designed to remain in place post-pandemic.

Leverage effect

The anticipated financing will allow us to speed up research by hiring a dedicated professional and dedicate more time to analysis. Funds will thus directly impact the research team’s productivity and findings obtained virtually could be quickly adapted to provide support to the youth most in need. The opportunity extended by COMPASS-Québec involves a rapid return on the donations received through an understanding of the mental health needs of certain adolescents in Québec.


Principal researcher

  • Dr. Richard Bélanger, Pediatrician, clinical university researcher, Université Laval
  • Slim Haddad (Researcher, full professor, Université Laval)


  • Brock University: Karen Patte
  • Regional public health officials, schools and school service centres in the Capitale-Nationale, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Chaudière-Appalaches regions
  • Université de Montréal: Marie-Pierre Sylvestre
  • Waterloo University: Scott Leatherdale

Research Center

  • Research Centre CHU de Québec-Université Laval

Funded year


Project category

  • Neurodevelopment and mental health