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Take preventative and reactive action against youth mood disorders in Toronto schools.

This petition had 286 supporters

Canada is now a country with 36 million people within its borders. 5.6 million of this number is the child population, and taking the stats on child depression, 622 thousand children within the country are depressed or have other extreme mood disorders.

That sounds like a lot, and it is. It’s a manic plague on youth, and it has serious consequences on not only the mental health of teens, also on their habits. Some signs of depression, or other mood disorders, are a change in appetite, loss of body weight, demotivation, recurring thought of self-worthlessness, helplessness, and even more. If left untreated, these can develop into much more severe symptoms, where self-harm or even suicide seems like the only way to get out of the vicious mental loop. People have recalled these counts of self harm as suicide attempts justified because “they did something wrong” “they deserved it”, “it makes me feel like i get what i deserve”.

What is actually true, is that suicide or self-harm is not the answer, and rather on the contrary, it detrimental to themselves and everyone around them. What the issue at hand as I see it, is that schools and public education centres are severely lacking in their facilities for depression, when such a vast number of youth are depressed. In a classroom of 30 students, most likely at least 3 of them are depressed. If you were to look up “Depression programs in Schools Ontario”, vastly broadening the borders from just Toronto, you would be hard pressed to find in-school programs, and rather be redirected to clinics or private programs.

The TDSB, Toronto District School Board, and other school boards around the nation, if not the globe, must take action against this plague on students. A lack of motivation and happiness stems from all mood disorders, and can happen for a multitude of reasons, making it impossible to predict from where and why it comes from. If prevention isn't the answer, then we must treat it for our youth and future generations.

So we're sending this petition to  Dr. John Malloy, the director of education for the TDSB, who specifically can deal with this issue as it is known that mood disorders heavily impact academic performance and well being. Dr. Malloy, we, students at Northern Secondary School, urge you to take action against this plague on students, introduce programs that cater to this issue and are effective, unlike the current "programs" introduced today. We also ask that you help improve the quality of education of mental health, as it is so common in youth.

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