Teen Mental Health: Now is the time for youth to get help

Kids and teens face a lot of issues while they’re growing up. For nearly 2 in 10, a mental disorderor illness could be one of them.The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) describes mental illness as a range of problems that “affect a person’s thoughts, emotions and behaviours.” These illnesses include

More than 70% of adults now living with mental health problems first developed symptoms in their childhood or adolescence*.

Too often, what might be treatable symptoms are underestimated or ignored. In Canada, just 1 of every 5 kids who needs mental health support receives it. Part of the problem is understanding when to ask for help; another is taking the steps to get help and support.

One of the most common issues among children and youth is anxiety. A feeling of anxiety is a natural way to respond to certain situations so it can be easy to miss when it becomes a problem. There are signs, however, when anxiety is a more serious concern.

The Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada has created a great website for teens: http://www.anxietycanada.ca/english/youth/index.htm

With information written for youth, the site provides important information like:

  • What is an anxiety disorder and who can have one?
  • Normal anxiety or anxiety disorder?
  • Things you should know about anxiety disorders

The site also includes advice on how to help a friend, suggested stress busters, and self-evaluation tests.

When a mental health issue is having an impact on someone’s personal relationships and daily life, it’s time to get help. According to the CMHA, mental illness costs the Canadian economy $51 billion a year. Mental disorders in youth are the second highest hospital care expenditure in Canada (after injuries). There’s no question that it impacts all of us. The question is, what can you do to help?

*  Mental Health Commission of Canada: http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/Pages/ChildandYouth.aspx


* Stevenson Waplak and Associates accepts no liability for the content of this article, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. Use of the information provided within this article is at the discretion of the user. Stevenson Waplak and Associates has provided this information as a resource only and is not to be used to diagnose, self-diagnose or apply health care in any way. Please consult a professional if you require help. *