Skip to main content

Digital Health Canada: The Convergence of Healthcare and Education

By September 9, 2021October 25th, 2021No Comments

October 20th, 2021
12:00PM – 1:00 PM

With the pandemic, school closures, the lack of access to sports and recreational programs, and social isolation have resulted in children being at even greater risk of mental and behavioural health issues, as well as social determinant challenges. Accurately identifying and supporting kids at risk has long term benefits, for them, their families, the community, and the economy.  Unless we address the foundational needs of our children and youth – viewed as patients or students – they won’t thrive, be it physically, emotionally, or academically.  This requires having robust data and actionable insights into their emotions, thoughts, and behaviours to provide the right care and evaluate outcomes.  Yet common interviewing techniques are time consuming and traditional survey forms often-times fail to capture comprehensive, good quality data, particularly from young people.

While this may be considered a health issue, as our children and youth spend roughly 25% of their time each week directly interacting with the educational sector, schools may be best suited as a starting point to identify kids at risk.  And while having common goals and objectives, in most cases education and healthcare systems don’t communicate or collaborate.  The tremendous shift to leverage technology both in healthcare and schools provides the opportunity for a more integrated approach.

The good news is that advances are on the horizon with novel national, provincial, and state programs raising awareness of these issues, and implementing solutions.  The Canadian Government recently launched Code Pink, urging Canada’s First Ministers to take immediate action to address the mental health crisis facing 8 million kids across the country.  In Atlantic Canada, Bridge the gapp helps youth to connect with guidance and support for mental health and addictions and offers self-help resources, links to local services, and allows the user to share their own personal stories. South of the border, schools and healthcare organizations such as School-Based Health Centers (SBHC) are collaborating using evidence-based screening tools, which enable the collection of sensitive data to identify the greatest risks impacting youth health, wellness, and academic success, and provide streamlined support in the right system.

Presented by Dr. Sandy Whitehouse, CMO and CEO, Tickit Health.  Dr. Jennifer Salerno, Founder, Possibilities for Change, Cindy Clarke, Director of eHealth Programs, Community & Virtual Care, Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information, Niki Legge, Provincial Director, Mental Health and Addiction, Department of Health and Community Services, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Register for the webinar here.