Mental Health Supports for School Aged Adolescents in Ontario
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Canada’s youth suicide rate is the third highest in the industrialized world. Mental health and illness have dramatically impacted the youth of our country. It is estimated that a staggering 3.2 million adolescents between the ages of 12-19 are at risk for developing depression. Suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among 15-24 year olds, making it the second leading cause after accidents. All these facts paint a very bleak picture when it comes to the discussion of mental health; however, the truth is that 80% of individuals who are recognized as battling depression and given the help and supports they need are able to return to their regular activities and way of living.
One major area of concern we have identified as nursing students is the lack of supports there are in the school setting. School-aged youth and adolescents are among the most at-risk populations, yet we lack the necessary protective barriers needed to ward off cases of depression or to provide the help necessary for those battling it. By increasing supports for students in the form of school nurses, increasing the depth of knowledge they receive on mental illness, including coping mechanisms and insight of when to reach out for help, we can equip our youth with the knowledge and skills required to build a solid mental health literacy foundation that will be able to help them through their adolescent years and carry them through adulthood.
As future nurses living in the GTA, we hope to kick start this movement in Ontario. In order to push this process forward, we will be sending letters along with this petition to key policy makers who we have identified as large impactors to the health and education of adolescents in Ontario.
- Doug Ford - Premier of Ontario
- Christine Elliott - Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
- Lisa Thompson - Ontario Minister of Education
- Toronto District School Board
- York Region District School Board
- Peel District School Board
Our goals to increasing the Mental Health literacies and supports given to school-aged adolescents include:
- Implementing more nursing presence into the school settings
- Further education on Mental Health screening and interventions given to teachers and other school faculty members
- Implement easier access to a wide variety of resources and support tools for Students, using social media as a primary source
- Creating Health programs with school nurses that focus on mental Health initiatives and decreasing stigmas
To Learn more or for additional Information and resources please visit:
- Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
- Canadian Mental Health Association
- Royal Ottawa Health Care Group
- Designated Psychiatric Facilities and Hospitals in Ontario
If you are currently battling depression or any other forms of mental illness please visit these resources and supports for additional help
- Kids Help Phone : Call a counsellor: 1-800-668-6868
- Ontario Suicide Prevention Network : Helpline: 416-670-4689
- Better Help: Online Counseling Service
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