Use of the emergency department as a first point of contact for mental health care by immigrant youth in Canada

Presenter: Dr. Natasha Saunders, Clinician-Investigator, Division of Pediatric Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children
Date: February 26th, 2019


Dr. Natasha Saunders co-authored a population-based study to determine immigrant youth's use of the emergency department as a first point of contact to mental health services. Using the emergency department as an entryway to the mental health system is associated with worse outcomes and reflect poor access to appropriate mental health care. The study results are an important first step to addressing the barriers immigrant youth face in accessing mental health services.

The webinar is designed for social, settlement, and health service providers. Dr. Saunders will speak to the study results and interpretation for your work with immigrants and refugees.

Presenter biography

Dr. Saunders is a clinician-investigator in the Division of Pediatric Medicine at The Hospital for Sick Children and an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto. She is also an adjunct scientist at ICES. She received two undergraduate degrees (biology and physical and health education) and her first Master of Science in vascular physiology from Queen’s University. Dr. Saunders completed her medical training at the University of Toronto in 2008 followed by her residency in pediatrics at SickKids from 2008 to 2012. After residency, Dr. Saunders completed an Academic General Pediatrics Fellowship at SickKids and a Master of Science in clinical epidemiology and health care research at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto in 2015.

Dr. Saunders’ primary areas of clinical practice are general pediatric hospitalist medicine and outpatient consultant general pediatrics. Her research interests include access to and quality of care for immigrant children and youth, mental health of children and youth, and primary care delivery and using large linked health and administrative databases to understand health service delivery.

Dr. Natasha Saunders