February 27, 2015 – Consisting of approximately 25,000 children, Statistics Canada is conducting the largest and most comprehensive study on the mental health and wellbeing of children and youth since 1983.
Last October, 13,500 families with children from four to 17 years of age located in 180 Ontario communities were invited to participate in this study. Families will be gathering information until the end of May 2015 concerning mental health disorders, access to mental health services, and their relationships between health, family, neighbourhood and schools.
Over 200 schools have also agreed to participate in the study providing information about their environment, the influence they have on the mental health of their children and youth and an evaluation of how well services in Ontario are responding to their needs.
It is important to procure information from parents and teachers because some children have a propensity to behave differently due to expectations and demands from both environments.
Laura Duncan, Project Co-ordinator for the Ontario Health Child Study stated, “We’re trying to look at the prevalence of child mental health in the province but we’re also trying to look at what impacts child mental health.”
Statistics Canada is hoping the results from this comprehensive study will assist Ontario in making funding decisions that will improve the prospects and conditions for all children and youth.
A research study conducted in 1983 (32 years ago) for children and youth strongly influenced the development of provincially sponsored programs, such as ‘Healthy Babies’, ‘Healthy Children’and the ‘Ontario Early Years Centres’.
“More and more children are born into social and economic disadvantage, which increases their risk for poor health and lowers their life chances,” said Dr. Michael Boyle, Principle Investigator & Canada Research Chair in the Social Determinants of Child Health andProfessor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences.
“It is up to us to find strengths in families, neighbourhoods, and schools that can offset these disadvantages and to challenge the health care system to better meet the needs of children and youth confronting mental health issues.”
- More than one in 10 young Canadians from the age of 15 to 24 sought professional or informal services for emotional, mental and substance abuse problems in 2012.
- 27% talked to their family and friends about their problems
- 6% went to their family doctor or general practitioner for a consult
- About 8% went online searching for a diagnosis
- 2% used discussion forums and social networks
- Females were more likely to consult professional and informal sources than males.
- A person encumbered with multiple risk factors generally increased the tendency to seek support, particularly among those who reported both a traumatic childhood experience and substance use disorder.
Canadian Mental Health Association states that:
- Only 1 out of 5 children experiencing a mental health issue receives mental health services.
- Suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among 15-24 year-olds and 16% among 25-44 year-olds.
Canadian Medical Association states that:
- 2 in 3 people suffer in silence fearing judgment and rejection.
- 49% of Canadians said they would socialize with a friend who has a serious mental illness.
- 27% of Canadians are fearful of being around people who suffer from serious mental illness.
Canadian Journal of Psychiatry states that:
- Adults with severe mental health problems and illnesses die up to 25 years earlier than adults in the general population.
Canadian Institute of Health Research states that:
- 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a form of mental illness at some point in their life.
Mental Health Commission of Canada states that:
- An estimated 1.2 million Canadian children and youth are affected by mental illness, but fewer than 20% receive appropriate treatment.
- Up to 70% of young adults living with mental health problems, reported that their symptoms started in childhood. Children who have mental health problems are more likely to become adults with mental health problems and illnesses.
- On any given week, more than 500,000 Canadians will not go to work because of mental illness.
- Mental health problems and illnesses account for more than $6 billion in lost productivity costs due to absenteeism and presenteeism (attending work despite illness, injury, anxiety,
Bell – Let’s Talk - is a wide-reaching, multi-year program designed to break the silence around mental illness and support mental health across Canada.
CTV News – ‘Childhood Mental Illness Not a Matter of Lazy Parenting’