Supporting Families with Screentime During COVID: A Two-Part Series for Primary Care Providers


We are proud to showcase a two-part series for primary healthcare providers on “Supporting Families with Screentime during COVID”  hosted by our ECHO partners at CHEO!

Under COVID, many families are reporting increased use of recreational screentime in their children and youth. Despite COVID however, children and youth still have the same needs for mental health and wellness that they needed pre-COVID. These needs include adequate sleep, nature time, physical activity, healthy nutrition, face-to-face time with fellow human beings, and activities which give purpose, hope and meaning.

Part 1: Nature of the Beast – Technology in the Lives of Kids

Date: Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Time: 6:00 p.m . – 7:00 p.m. EST
Part 1 of this series will discuss the benefits and challenges of screentime during COVID.

Register here

Learning Objectives

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the role and impact of technology on the mental health of children and adolescents.
  • Recall the addictive potential of smart phones, digital media software and online gaming.
  • Recognize 2 aspects of adolescent brain development that make adolescents vulnerable to technology misuse.

Dr. Hazen Gandy, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Hazen Gandy, MD, FRCPC Psychiatrist Hub Specialist Dr. Gandy is a child and adolescent psychiatrist with 25 years experience working in numerous clinical settings at CHEO. He is the Medical Director of the Eastern Hubsite of the Ontario TeleMental Health Service and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa. His clinical work includes family based therapy in eating disorders, providing consultations to the provincial Base eConsult Service and the Tele-Mental Health Service as well as psychiatric care to an innovative community-based program called Bridges. A skier in winter and golfer in summer, he is very pleased to participate as a clinician expert in ECHO Ontario

Part 2: Practical Strategies for Primary Care Providers

Date: Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. EST
Part 2 of this series will talk about practical strategies to support families, so that they can maximize healthy use of technology, and limit negative uses of technology, particularly as we move into a post-COVID world.

Register here

Learning Objectives

By the end of this session, participants will know how to:

  • Continue to promote what children, youth and families have always needed for mental health prior to technology and COVID,
  • Promote healthy usage of technology in children and youth during and post-COVID;
  • Support parents in setting limits on less healthy usage of technology during and post-COVID.

Dr. Michael Cheng, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Cheng is a child psychiatrist who is passionate about the importance of healthy attachments to people and activities that give purpose, hope and meaning. He is the co-founder of, a website that seeks to support primary care providers in their work with patients with mental health needs. He is a mentor with the Collaborative Mental Health Network (CMHN) of the Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP). Michael is married to a family physician, with whom they share two wonderful young children. During his spare time, Michael’s interest is sleep.

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