The Regional Municipality of Durham

News Release

Durham Region residents invited to participate in the Ontario Child Health Study

WHITBY, ON March 27, 2015

Durham Region Health Department is urging area families to participate in the 2014 Ontario Child Health Study being conducted by McMaster University. Researchers from the university, together with a national team of academics, are currently conducting this study in communities across the country and Statistics Canada is inviting 13,500 families from 180 communities to participate.

“We know that the mental health of children and youth is an important determinant of their school achievement, their social relationships and their developing abilities,” explained Dr. Robert Kyle, Durham Region Medical Officer of Health.

“In 1983, the Ontario Child Health Study found that a large number of four to 16-year olds – one in five – were experiencing mental health challenges, with a very small number of children and youth receiving any form of care. Ontario responded to that need by initiating a number of community-based programs to support families and promote positive development in children.”

However, research has since shown that “rising income inequality and other demographic shifts have increased stress on families,” Dr. Kyle continued. “Now more than ever we need accurate information about child and youth mental health to help inform discussions about our concerns and determine what needs to be done.”

While over 90 per cent of families contacted for the 1983 study participated, researchers are finding that families are hesitant to be involved in the current study; researchers are strongly encouraging families to participate. “We agree that child and youth mental health is important and that we need a better picture of what’s happening in our province and community,” said Dr. Kyle.

“If you get a call from Statistics Canada asking you to participate in the Ontario Child Health Study, I would urge you to say yes. This is a chance to be heard and contribute to a study that will benefit the health of your children and community for years to come.”

For more information on the Ontario Child Health Study, please visit

Media inquiries:

The Regional Municipality of Durham:

Glendene Collins – Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999

If this information is required in an accessible format, please contact the Accessibility Co-ordinator at 1-800-372-1102 extension 2009.

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For more information, please contact Health Department.