Is Ontario doing enough for youth seeking mental health services?
Every day more of Ontario’s youth are waking up feeling anxious, depressed or simply ‘different’ from their peers at school due to underlying mental disorders. As of May 2013, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) estimated a staggering 3.2 million Canadians aged 12-19 are at risk of depression. The leading symptom amongst youth being anxiety, considering it goes hand-in-hand with the enormous stress of juggling school, part-time jobs and a social life.
However, what happens when youth lose their path? What is Ontario doing for those who are no longer going to school because they are consumed by their overwhelming fear of failure, judgment and alienation?
Currently, StatsCan states 7.8 per cent of Ontario’s youth are dropping out in high school, however this number has declined since the 1990s.
However, a number that continues to rise is the amount of youth battling anxiety.
In fact, Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) concluded that 6 per cent of Ontario’s youth are coping with severe anxiety and this does not account for those hiding their symptoms or those who are relying on self-coping mechanisms versus services.
Meet 17 year old Sajjad Syed.
For over two years Sajjad has not attended school for numerous reasons regarding his mental wellbeing. In the past he has attempted to sign up for virtual (online) classes, though his former high school has not given him any assistance with the process. Sajjad feels as though he is running out of options and people to seek help from.
Listen to his story.
Currently a third year journalism student at Humber College, aiming to work within the music scene and radio.