As the 3rd wave sweeps across Canada, many young people are again sent home from school and isolated from teachers, friends and family. Researchers and doctors are voicing their concerns that these changes in routine and social access will have long-term negative impacts on children’s mental and physical health. Despite shutdowns and health regulations, Big Brothers Big Sisters mentors have pivoted and continued to connect with mentees from across Canada. Moving ‘outings’ to online platforms, such as FaceTime or Zoom, mentors are consistently connecting with mentees, helping them to navigate the isolation and the changes in their routines.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada has just completed a National youth research project lead by Megan Ames, Ph.D., R.Psych. from University of Victoria and Stephanie Craig, PhD, C.Psych, from York University along with collaborator Dr Debra Pepler of York University. The findings confirm that because of our mentoring programs, mentees are faring better than non-mentored youth during this pandemic: