Youth Mental Health Blog

Photo Charlotte SchwarzHi, my name is Charlotte and I’m a third year student at St.Thomas University.

For the next few weeks I’ll be writing a series of blogs on youth mental health. It’s an important issue to me because I’ve seen it affect so many people my age. According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 10-20% of Canadian youth are affected by a mental illness or disorder. And according to the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services, 70% of mental health and addiction issues start in childhood or adolescence. Mental health is a youth issue and it is important to take care of these issues when they begin to arise, not just when they hit crisis.

In Canada only one in five youth who need mental health services in Canada receive the care they need.  It is evident that the care system we have right now is not sufficient. Something needs to be done to improve the amount and quality of care available.

One of the barriers in properly treating mental health is the stigma associated with it, especially in schools.

Stigma is a big problem when it comes to youth mental health, especially in the school environment. Stigma leads to negative attitudes and stereotypes towards people who experience mental illness. The mental health commission states that more than 60% of people with mental health issues won’t seek the help they need due to stigma. No one should feel ashamed about their struggle with mental health. We can end the stigma by teaching people about mental health  to  create a better and more accepting environment.

In the next few weeks I will be writing about a different topic relating to youth mental health: the state of youth mental health in New Brunswick, current services in New Brunswick, gaps and problems with current youth mental health services, the integrated service delivery piolet project, best practices elsewhere, and Access New Brunswick. I hope you will join me in exploring this topic. Like us here and let us know what topics you want explored in the blog.