News Uncategorized

RBC Run for Kids! ACHF

Despite chilly winter weather, we participated in the RBC Race for the Kids yesterday, as part of the CAIR for Kids Team. Our team raised over $3500 for the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation! Many even braved the cold for an outdoor post-run celebration. Congratulations to all!

World Mental Health Day

Most mental health problems emerge in adolescence. Understanding the early roots of mental health problems may help to identify them early and provide more effective interventions.  

In our lab, we study mental health from the prenatal period to early adulthood. For example, see our Pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic study, which is looking at how mental health is affected in pregnancy during the pandemic and the resulting impacts on children. We also study links between internalizing and externalizing behavior in adolescence.  

Currently we are extending this work to understand brain alterations in children and youth with prenatal exposures, most of whom experience mental health challenges. 

Stay tuned for more exciting work on brain and mental health coming out of the Developmental Neuroimaging Lab!! 

National Geographic- Will pandemic ‘coronababies’ live with long-term trauma?

 National Geographic article about research lead by Dr. Catherine Lebel, Dr. Gerald Giesbrecht, and Dr. Lianne Tomfohr-Madsen. For full article click link below and for information on the Pregnancy during the Pandemic Study including updates go to

Today, the 9th day of the 9th month, is FASD awareness day. FASD is a complex, multifaceted disorder caused by prenatal alcohol exposure.

In Celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and every year the goal is to fight the stigma around mental health, provide support and to educate the public. Mental illness refers to a wide range of disorders that affect mood, thinking and behaviour. In any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental illness or addiction. Many mental health problems have their onset during childhood or adolescence, and can lead to compromised quality of life or premature death in some cases. In our lab, we aim to understand the structure of the developing brain, as well as its function and plasticity with the hope of improving treatments for children who experience learning and behavioural challenges. Many of our ongoing studies focus on the links between mental health and the brain by studying neurological changes during this crucial time of development (preschool-aged children to adolescence) and brain maturation. With understanding of how the brain matures and changes in response to developmental disorders such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and autism spectrum disorder, we can begin to comprehend how to help these children cope and offer explanations as well as treatments and solutions.

Need help or know someone that does?

Kids Help Phone –, live chat online, call a counsellor 24/7 at 1-800-668-6868, or text CONNECT to 686868

Visit the Disaster Distress Helpline –, call 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUs to 66746

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) –

Mental Health First Aid/Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHFA) –

National Suicide Prevention Hotline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255)