Multimorbidity—the co-occurrence of physical and mental illness—affects approximately 10 per cent of children and youth, and can continue throughout their lives. Despite evidence that physical illness increases the risk of mental illness, why this happens is still not well understood. As Canada Research Chair in Youth Mental Health, Dr. Mark Ferro aims to help answer this question.
He and his research team are investigating the epidemiology, trajectories and mechanisms that lead to childhood multimorbidity. They are also studying how multimorbidity and COVID-19 infection influence the use of mental health services. Ultimately, their findings could help identify at-risk youth and inform prevention and intervention efforts to eliminate childhood multimorbidity.