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Mental Health in Canadian Adolescents
Mental Health: state of well-being
where the individual realizes his or her
own potential, can cope with normal
stresses of life , can work productively,
and is able to contribute to his or her
community (World Health
Organization, 2014)
Many developmental and physical
changes occur during adolescent years
Children and youth respond to life
stressors differently depending on their
developmental stage (Austin, 2010)
15% or 1.2 million children and youth are
affected by mental illness (Mood Disorder
Most common mental health disorder between
age 4-17 is anxiety with 6.5% Canadian youth
being affected (Gajewski-Nowel, 2010; Scwartz
et al., 2012)
46% believe mental illness is an excuse for
poor behavior
Ages 10-14 have suicide rates of 10-13% and
ages 15-19 have rates of 20-24% (Navanellan,
This year, 2014, Bell Lets Talk Day raised
5,472,585 towards reducing the stigma towards
mental illness (Bell Canada, 2014)

Fewer than 25% of children that have mental illness actually receive specialized treatment
(Austin 2010, Schwartz, et Al 2012)
Early Diagnosis and treatment leads to better outcomes for children later in life (Huberty
Education is key to addressing mental illness. Education is needed in such areas as signs to
watch for related to mental illnesses, how to support someone with mental illness, how to
promote ones own mental health and how stigmas can negatively affect those with a mental
Given that children and youth spend a substantial part of each day within the school setting,
these communities become a natural important venue for mental health service delivery.
Mental Health Commission was created in 2007 by Government of Canada and has helped
address the stigma and discrimination towards people with mental illness. (MHCC, 2009)
School Based Mental Health in Canada- A Final Report which was done by the Mental Health
Commission in September 2013 highlighted numerous area in which mental health in schools
could be promoted: to read the full report go to www.mentalhealthcommission.ca
Numerous reports are surfacing showing the needs and directions that mental health
promotion should take, for the future it is now necessary to take this knowledge and start to
apply it!

Austin, W. (2010). Mental health assessment of children and adolescents. In W. Austin & M.A.
Boyd (Eds.). , Psychiatric and mental health nursing for Canadian practice (2
ed., Chapter
26, pp.631-650). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Bell Canada. (2014). Bell let's talk. Retrieved from http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/
Gajewski-Noel, J. (2010). Psychiatric disorders diagnosed in children and adolescents. In W.
Austin & M.A. Boyd (Eds.), Psychiatric and mental health nursing for Canadian practice (2

ed., Chapter 28, pp.678-717). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Huberty, T.J. (2008). Anxiety and depression in children and adolescents: Assessment,
intervention, and prevention. [DX Reader version]. Retrieved from
http://link.springer.com.cyber.usask.ca/book/10.1007%2F978-1-4614- 3110-7
Mental Health Commission of Canada. (2009). Toward recovery & well-being: A framework for a
mental health strategy for canada. Calgary, AlbertMood Disorders Society of Canada.
(2009). Quick facts: Mental illness and addiction in Canada. Retrieved from
http://www.mooddisorderscanada.ca/documents/Media Room/Quick Facts 3rd Edition
Eng Nov 12 09.pdfa: Mental Health Commission of Canada.
Mental Health Commission of Canada. (2013) School based mental health in Canada- a final
report . Retrieved from
Navaneelan, T. Health Statistics Division, (2012). Suicide rates: An overview. Retrieved from
Government of Canada website: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-624-
Statistics Canada. (2011). Mood disorders. Retrieved from Government of Canada website:
World Health Organization. (2014). Health topics: Mental health. Retrieved from