A new study on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s mental health puts forward concrete recommendations to promote their well-being.
The study, entitled Favoriser la santé mentale des enfants de 5-12 ans durant la COVID-19 and funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), is based on a review of the scientific literature on children’s mental health and well-being in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as interviews with parents, aiming to keep recommendations well-grounded in the real-life context of families in Québec.
The research by Dr Chantal Camden and Dr Catherine Malboeuf-Hurtubise, respectively of the École de réadaptation de la Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé de l’Université de Sherbrooke and Bishop’s University’s Department of Psychology, and also both researchers at the Centre de recherche du CHUS du CIUSSS de l’Estrie — CHUS, favours maintaining a regular contact between children, their families and the education system, along with maintaining a daily routine and regular activities, as much as possible to promote youth mental health.
Another recommendation is to ensure those likely to interact with children on a daily basis such as teachers and mental health professionals, for instance, are well-equipped to know how to recognize signs of psychological distress. It is important for these persons to be able to identify vulnerable children and to react quickly, notably through the use of resources already offered online to support those children and their families. Specialized services must also be accessible if they are needed.
“The study also aimed to identify specific issues affecting children with neurodevelopmental disorders, living with a disability or a chronic health condition, which are at higher risk in the current context,” indicates Dr Camden. “It is crucial to ensure a continuum between the health and education systems, the community level and families in order to coordinate their respective actions to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on children.”
“Even with encouraging developments emerging on the horizon, the fact remains that we will have to manage the social consequences of a pandemic context for some time,” points out Dr Malboeuf-Hurtubise. “Now that specific useful actions have been validated, there remains the pressing need to implement them in real, everyday life for children’s well-being.”
Dr. Lorne Nelson of Bishop’s University in conjunction with collaborators from around the world have discovered the first planet to orbit the burned out core of a dead star. The observations and analysis were just published in Nature, which is considered to be the world’s premier science journal.
Dr. Nelson, of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, is among the authors of an article describing the discovery of a giant planet roughly the size of Jupiter, although likely to be several times more massive, that is in a very close orbit with its white dwarf companion known as WD 1856+534. The system is located only 80 light years away from the Earth in the constellation of Draco, and the existence of the planet was inferred thanks to observations using NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) in addition to other telescopes during the Summer and Fall of 2019. The white dwarf star is so small that it is not much larger than the Earth and is about seven times smaller than the planet that eclipses it. But more amazingly, the giant planet’s “year” – the time it takes for it to complete a full revolution around the white dwarf star – lasts for a little less than a day and a half (34 hours).
“This is a truly remarkable discovery because the giant planet that we found somehow survived the fiery death of its parent star and subsequently experienced gravitational interactions with other planets that placed it in a very close orbit with the original star’s now ‘dead’ core”, what astronomers refer to as a white dwarf. “These observations may help us understand the future of our own Solar System,” Dr. Nelson explains. “We know that one day as our own parent star (the Sun) starts to die, it too will expand to become a red giant and will likely gobble up Mercury, Venus, and then the Earth. One of the intriguing questions relates to what will happen to the outer gas giant planets such as Jupiter and Saturn after this process. The discovery of WD 1856b, and hopefully many more like it, will go a long way in helping us address this issue.”
Dr. Nelson’s primary contributions to the research were based on calculations that showed that the object orbiting the white dwarf star was most likely to be a giant planet and not another type of celestial object such as a cool, low-mass star (red dwarf) or an even smaller and colder type of object known as a brown dwarf (brown dwarfs are the ‘missing link’ between stars and giant gas planets and typically have masses between about 14 and 75 times the mass of Jupiter). This contribution by Dr. Nelson further demonstrates the level of academic excellence and commitment to research associated with Bishop’s University and its Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Robert Hall, ’79, Chair of the Board of Governors, is pleased to announce that the Board has endorsed the unanimous recommendation of the Bishop’s Council to appoint Daniel Fournier as Chancellor of Bishop’s University for a five-year term beginning on August 29, 2020.
In accepting this appointment, Mr. Fournier commented: “I am a firm believer in Bishop’s liberal education model which ensures that students develop key skills and competencies that will stand the test of time. I am looking forward to this new challenge, and am pleased to be of service to Bishop’s University and the Bishop’s community.”
Expressing the appreciation of the Board of Governors, Mr. Hall said: “We are honoured to have as our new Chancellor such a highly accomplished and respected member of the Quebec and Canadian business community”.
Michael Goldbloom, C.M., Principal and Vice-Chancellor, welcomed the appointment. “Daniel Fournier has already had multiple involvements with Bishop’s as a parent of three graduates, as a member of the initial Bishop’s Council and as a co-chair of the most successful capital campaign in Bishop’s history. We are looking forward to continue working with him over the coming years.”
Daniel Fournier grew up in Montreal. He studied History at Princeton University and Jurisprudence at Oxford University, as a Rhodes Scholar. He took a term off to play for the Canadian Football League’s Ottawa Rough Riders.
He has 40 years of business experience primarily in the real estate industry. From 2010 to 2019, he was Chair and Chief Executive Officer at Ivanhoé Cambridge, a real estate subsidiary of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. Prior to joining Ivanhoé Cambridge, he was Chair of the Board of Genivar, now WSP Global, and a member of Canadian Tire’s Board of Directors. He was also a director of the Summit Industrial Income REIT and of Standard Life (Canada), now part of Manulife.
In recent years, Mr. Fournier has chaired fundraising campaigns for La Maison du Père, The Lighthouse Children and Families, and the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC). Until February 2020, he was the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the McCord Museum Foundation in Montreal.
Mr. Hall expressed his profound thanks to Brian Levitt, O.C., who has served in the role as Chancellor since 2013. “Brian’s wisdom, judgement and practical experience have been invaluable as we navigated through some challenging times for Bishop’s. As Chair of the Board, I have appreciated his consistent ability to discern the essence of an issue and to propose a constructive way to address it. We are pleased that Brian will continue to serve as a member of the Board of Governors”.
As announced on April 20th, the 88th Congrès annuel de l’Acfas, originally scheduled in 2020, will take place from May 3–7, 2021 at the Université de Sherbrooke and Bishop’s University.
The research community is invited to present its most recent results by submitting proposals for thematic conferences or free communications in all scientific domains: health sciences, natural sciences, engineering and mathematics, humanities, social sciences and education. This call for proposal notably aims to enrich the program with new proposals and to take into account the most recent developments since the initial invitation in Fall 2019. Signaling a strong mobilization of the university community, most of those who had a scientific activity planned in the program chose to reschedule it for 2021.
Under the theme Du jamais su, this event unfolding over five days offers the scientific community a unique opportunity to take the pulse of the latest developments and breakthroughs in research and debate current events. The event is also a marquee venue for the next generation of researchers to network and share results.
The current crisis period highlights the fact that research is more important now than ever as it plays a key role in decision making which affects our community. There is no doubt that the next event will be a key moment for the research community to ponder the myriad consequences of the current pandemic and the state of research in the 21st century.
One event, two scientific venues
Faculty, researchers, graduate students and research support staff are invited to submit their proposals for thematic conferences and free communications by October 12.
In addition to strengthening bonds and forging new ones, scientific conferences are the ideal setting to share research results, and for discussions and debates among decision makers and actors of the science world. Free communications are an opportunity to present research results orally or through posters.
Acfas disseminates knowledge as an engine of our society’s development by gathering research actors throughout the Francophonie. Deliberately forward-looking, Acfas is a powerful force of democratization of scientific communications. It values researchers of all disciplines as well as research excellence.
About the Université de Sherbrooke
The Université de Sherbrooke lies at the center of one of Quebec’s three major research hubs. Recognized for its sense of innovation, the university is a key partner of senior and regional governments in promoting social, cultural, and economic development. Moreover, the university stands out because of the significant growth in its research activities in recent years, its technology-transfer successes, and its entrepreneurial and open-innovation initiatives in collaboration with industry and social communities.
About Bishop’s University
Bishop’s University is a predominantly residential, undergraduate university. Our primary concern is offering students a quality education in the fine arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, business and education. The residential aspect of our small size (2,800 full-time students) encourages students to immerse themselves in the complete Bishop’s experience.
Former MNA and cabinet minister Yolande James has been elected Chair of the Bishop’s Council.
The seven-member Council serves as an advisory body to the Board of Governors of Bishop’s University through the Principal.
Yolande James is a lawyer and political commentator. She served as Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities from 2007 to 2010 and as Minister responsible for Families from 2010 to 2012.
“I am honoured to take on this role,” said Ms James.
“I am not a Bishop’s graduate but as I have gotten to know the University, I have been very impressed by its model of education and the broad educational experience it offers its students. My colleagues and I are looking forward to supporting the University in whatever way we can.”
The other members of the Bishop’s Council are:
Michael Childs, Historian and former Vice-Principal Academic,
Scott Griffin, O.C., former Chancellor and founder of the Griffin Poetry Prize,
Paige O’Beirne, class of 2010, Director of Partnerships for the Gairdner Foundation,
Chief Richard O’Bomsawin, Chief of the Abénakis Band Council of Odanak,
Junior Sirivar, class of 1999, Partner at McCarthy Tétrault, and
Heather Thomson, former Bishop’s Chaplain.
This is not the first time Yolande James and Bishop’s University have joined forces. In 2019, Ms James served as the Director of the Bishop’s Forum, which brings together young leaders in Quebec’s English-speaking community.
She will lead the Forum again this year which will be held virtually from Saturday, August 8 through to Tuesday, August 11.
“I believe that we all, as citizens, want to make a difference. The Bishop’s Forum leadership institute is a unique opportunity for 18-26 years old English–speaking Quebecers to understand how to become active citizens, by engaging with inspiring leaders, such as former Premier Jean Charest and the Minister of Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbeault and through interaction with their peers from across Quebec. I was impressed by the young people I met last year and look forward to engaging with this year’s participants”, said Ms James.
Bishop’s University is pleased to announce Dr. Heather Smith as the 2020 Jarislowsky Visiting Scholar.
Stephen A. Jarislowsky Scholar-in-Residence Program
Through the generosity of The Jarislowsky Foundation, this annual Scholar-in-Residence program invites 1 – 2 internationally recognized scholars to Bishop’s University to work with Dr. Jessica Riddell, the Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair of Undergraduate Teaching Excellence, and other Bishop’s faculty, in order to enhance quality undergraduate education at Bishop’s, across Canada, and around the world. The visiting scholar is expected to run workshops, collaborate with diverse groups, build communities of practice, curate and create resources, and advise on projects that enhance undergraduate teaching excellence with impact nationally and internationally.
Leading Teaching and Learning Initiatives Through the lens of ‘Pandemic Pedagogy’
Dr. Heather A. Smith is Professor of Global and International Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia. Former Director of the UNBC Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology, she is the recipient of the 3M National Teaching Fellowship (2006), the Canadian Political Science Excellence in Teaching Award (2012), a two time recipient of the UNBC Excellence in Teaching Award, and a 2018 BCcampus Scholarly Teaching Fellow. Dr. Smith is an active researcher in both her disciplinary field of international studies and in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) with numerous articles, book chapters, monograph, and edited collections.
Dr. Jessica Riddell, Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence, explains: “In order for us to learn and refine our thinking about higher education in the 21st century we must go beyond our institution and into the world to think differently and view challenges from diverse perspectives. Now more than ever we must build on our national and international networks to advance our thinking around the future of higher education. I am delighted that the Visiting Scholars Program extends to our colleagues across the Maple League as we re-imagine the role of a 21st century liberal education in the time of a global pandemic. We’ve designed programming open to all in order to support faculty from primarily undergraduate universities with a focus on individualized education. We hope it will be of value to colleagues across Canada.”
As Jarislowsky Visiting Scholar, (May 15, 2020 – April 1, 2021) Dr. Smith will support the following activities:
“Maple League Hosts: Conversations around Quality Undergraduate Education” (a monthly panel with national and international teaching and learning scholars facilitated by the Executive Director and Jarislowsky Visiting Scholar);
“Hive Mind” Resource Guide (a dynamic space for sharing resources to alleviate some of the most pressing pain points);
“Better Together: Maple League Teaching Support” (a summer series led by professors, staff, and students from the four universities every Tuesday and Thursday);
Supporting Communities of Practice (with disciplinary and thematic working groups);
Research and Knowledge Mobilization (with a focus on pandemic pedagogy).
David Hornsby, Associate Vice-President (Teaching and Learning) at Carleton University says “Heather Smith is the consummate pedagogical collaborator. Working with her always results in a dynamic that is creative, productive, exploratory, imbued with a deep passion for the possibilities for university teaching and holds a strong thread of fun. Words cannot express how much I value my professional and personal friendship with Heather and I am just so pleased that she is joining the Maple League as the Jarislowsky Visiting Scholar.”
Lauren Boultbee, Post-Graduate Fellow in Advancement and Communications asserts, “Bishop’s University and the Maple League of Universities are facilitating timely conversations around undergraduate teaching excellence. As a recent alumna (’20), I recognize the importance of this work in the lives of our students and recent graduates. We are fortunate to have someone who deeply cares about student learning and that values student voices and collaborations; her work with Bishop’s University will have a significant impact on student success and resilience.”
About the Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair of Undergraduate Teaching Excellence
Building upon Bishop’s University’s commitment to delivering an exemplary undergraduate education, the mission of the Jarislowsky Chairship is to build capacities in teaching excellence, design curiosity-driven approaches to learning, and implement programs that inspire ethical, critical, and creative thinking across the Maple League, as well as nationally and internationally.
About the Maple League
The Maple League is made up of four universities – Acadia, Bishop’s, Mount Allison and St. Francis Xavier – who together form an alliance of small, rural, undergraduate liberal education institutions with Francophone heritage and a commitment to truth and reconciliation with indigenous communities. By fostering reciprocal relationships across institutional boundaries, we provide extraordinary opportunities to transform as leaders, scholars, and institutions. The Maple League creates distinctive learning environments that ensure our graduates are capable of navigating an increasingly complex world as citizens and leaders dedicated to the values of a just and civil society. For more information, visit our website: mapleleague.ca.
Dr. Chantal Camden, of the École de réadaptation la Faculté de médecine et des sciences de la santé de l’Université de Sherbrooke and researcher at the Centre de recherche du CHUS, and Dr. Catherine Malboeuf-Hurtubise, of Bishop’s University’s Psychology Department, will join their efforts to establish a scientific basis aiming to guide mental health interventions to support children in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to Government of Canada funding.
Dr. Camden and Dr. Malboeuf-Hurtubise were awarded funds by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research’s (CIHR) COVID-19 Mental Health Initiative to consolidate and synthesize the evidence base on which public mental health responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and the identification of relevant interventions will be made. There are currently knowledge gaps under the current circumstances that the two childhood specialists will attempt to fill by synthesizing the available literature on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s mental health.
Dr. Camden and Dr. Malboeuf-Hurtubise will lead a multidisciplinary and multi-institution team in which McGill University, Université de Montréal, and Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières will also take part.
The research will notably focus on the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of children between five and 12 years old, with particular attention to children living with a handicap or chronic disease, in order to identify the best intervention strategies for them. Currently available preliminary information suggests these children are more at risk of suffering from the lack of social interactions and disruption to daily routines that have emerged because of confinement measures in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. These children are thus more likely of suffering from anxiety or other mental health conditions.
“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s mental health is a concern. To the extent that youth and their families will have to deal with the issue for the coming months or years, it seemed crucial to empirically document the impact of COVID-19 on children’s mental health. This knowledge will then allow us to formulate science-based specific recommendations to diminish negative consequences of the current crisis on the mental health of our youth,” Dr. Malboeuf-Hurtubise remarks.
“This collaboration between researchers from different institutions – of course within Sherbrooke as a university research hub, but also with our colleagues from Montréal and Trois-Rivières, will allow us to reach our goals at the appropriate pace within the context of a rapidly-evolving situation in order, we hope, to provide the required support to vulnerable individuals in our society,” Dr. Camden observes.
Bishop’s University’s Lifelong Learning Academy (BULLA) has decided to take over the sponsorship of Write Here, Write Now (WHWN), formerly a Townshippers’ Association’s Project.
For the past two years WHWN has offered a number of activities to foster the local writing community. Receiving welcome support from the Department of Canadian Heritage, WHWN has encouraged the participants in the workshops to explore new techniques and subjects and to publish their work. One of the partners was Bishop’s Senior Academy for Lifelong Learning (SALL) so the sponsorship builds on a previous partnership.
The monthly workshops (in four locations) were designed for beginners as well as experienced writers and have focused on both poetry and prose, particularly the memoir. The project made links between writers and local media including The Townships Sun, the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN) and CJMQ which have published or broadcast their work.
Last summer the Our Stories 2.0 ebook published the writings of Townshippers as well as photos of their visual works. Later this summer a print version of the ebook will be available which will also include unpublished work by the students of North Hatley Elementary.
Some of the techniques of writing covered are “the flash memoir”, plot, setting, sound and rhythm, concrete poetry and imagery and the themes include The Gothic and Humour. One group writes only memoir. In every workshop there is an opportunity for participants to write and read their work. Participants have always been consulted on their interests and the workshops have been designed accordingly.
In June, the WHWN team will send a document to ask people what kind of workshops they would like to see added and which existing workshops should be renewed. An online event will follow.
A participant from the memoir group, Ann Louise George, wrote: “So why do I so enjoy being a member of the writing club? For one, there’s the conviviality of get-togethers with others who like the challenge of putting pen to paper. But there’s also the unique opportunity to have a window into the souls and minds of those around me, understanding who they are, what they are and why they are what they are—a great feeling of shared humanity, all under the skillful guidance of Melanie (Cutting).”
Rebecca Welton from the Knowlton group captured the reaction of the participants, “The Write Here, Write Now (WHWN) workshops have been incredibly inspiring; giving us the tools to take our writing forward; putting us in regular contact with other writers in the region; allowing us to forge new contacts and gain support from people as passionate about writing as each other.”
Dr. Sarah-Myriam Martin-Brûlé of Bishop’s University Department of Politics and International Studies is playing an important role in the launch of the Network for Strategic Analysis, as part of the Department of National Defence’s Mobilizing Insights in Defence and Security (MINDS) program. The Network is to study evolving defence and security issues in order to inform crucial policy decisions about national security and defence.
Dr. Martin-Brûlé will be heading a major axis of the Network co-directed by Justin Massie (UQAM) and Stéfanie von Hlatky (Queen’s University), which has just been granted $750,000 by the Department of National Defence and which brings together over 60 researchers, collaborators and partners.
Dr. Martin-Brûlé will be heading the Multilateral security cooperation and the role of international organizations branch of the initiative. The other two axes of the three-pronged MINDS initiative will focus on the evolving role of great powers in an uncertain world order and on the future of defence capacity-building activities with global partners.
The Network aims to mobilize innovative research expertise across Canada in both official languages, to generate new insights, disseminate strategic analysis to the Government of Canada, its partners and the public to inform policy decisions, and to train and develop the next generation of defence and security experts.
Bishop’s University students will soon have the opportunity to apply for Pathy Foundation Fellowships to receive funding allowing them to implement stimulating new sustainable social change and community development ideas.
“The Pathy Foundation Fellowship is an amazing opportunity for our students to take their ideas to help communities within Canada and around the world and put them into action to foster sustainable and positive social change,” explains Dr. Michael Teed, of Bishop’s University’s Williams School of Business, who is the Pathy Foundation Fellowship’s point of contact at Bishop’s. “Fellows who are selected are provided with up to $ 40,000 to contribute to living allowance, travel expenses, and initiative funding. In addition, selected fellows receive training at the Coady Institute at St. Francis Xavier prior to and during their fellowship.”
Through this new partnership, Bishop’s University is offering its students an amazing new opportunity to make a difference helping their community make sustainable social changes by applying to the Pathy Foundation Fellowship.
Through the Coady Institute, Bishop’s joins St. Francis Xavier University, as well as McGill University, Queen’s University and the University of Ottawa in offering full-time graduating undergraduate and graduate student the chance to apply for up to $ 40,000 to support their projects over one year.
The Pathy Foundation Fellowship is an outstanding experiential learning opportunity that allows graduating students the chance to leverage their meaningful connection with the community to bring about sustainable community development.