Christine Polihronis

Investigator, CHEO Research Institute

Dr. Christine Polihronis currently works at the Knowledge Institute on Child and Youth Mental Health and Addictions as a Senior Data Analyst. She completed her Hons BA at Brock University in 2009, and MA and PhD at Carleton University (2012, 2017). She completed her Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Children’s hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa in 2020. She has worked with a research team at CHEO focusing on understanding the factors that contribute to repeat visits to the Emergency Department and has been involved in implementing and evaluating the use of the HEADS-ED as part of an Emergency Department Mental Health Clinical Pathway. Since 2020, she has worked at the Knowledge Institute and has focused on research that aims to improve mental health services for children and youth in community settings.

Research Projects

  1. Closing the Referral Loop: Piloting a Clinical Pathway Between Primary Care and Community-Based Mental Health and Addictions Services


  2. A Primary Care Mental Health Pathway for Children and Youth: A Mental Health Services Quality Improvement Initiative in Ontario


  3. Meeting the service needs of youth with and without a self-reported mental health diagnosis during COVID-19


    The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced multiple, co-occurring stressors for youth, such as drastic changes to their daily routines, social interactions, and educational conditions (1,2). Relative to other life stages, adolescence is a critical period of social and emotional development (3), and one in which mental health (MH) and substance use disorders are more likely to emerge in the face of overwhelming change (4). For many youth, it seems that the MH impacts from COVID-19 have been detrimental (5–8). For others, their MH may not have changed, or even improved, due to fewer social or school-related pressures or increases in family bonding (9–12). For youth with existing MH concerns, diagnoses or risk factors, the MH effects of the pandemic may have been especially harmful (9,13,14), particularly for those whose access to services has been discontinued or disrupted (13).

  4. Parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic: The sociodemographic and mental health factors associated with maternal caregiver strain


    Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new stressors for parents (“caregivers”) that may affect their own and their child’s mental health (MH). We explored self-reported levels of caregiver strain (parents’ perceived ability to meet parenting demands), and the MH and sociodemographic factors of caregivers to identify predictors of strain that can be used to guide MH service delivery for families.

  5. What’s the harm in asking? A systematic review and meta-analysis on the risks of asking about suicide-related behaviors and self-harm with quality appraisal


    Unfortunately, misperceptions of harm remain which can compromise clinical care, research, and public health surveillance efforts. Our objective was to evaluate the empirical evidence on whether and how asking about suicide related behaviors (SRB), such as suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) results in harmful outcomes.