A new report highlights the need for a school-based mental health framework
(Ottawa) – Today the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada is releasing Are the Kids All Right? Children’s mental health and what Canada can must do about it.
This paper is about the mental health of Canadian children and youth. It highlights how the majority of Canada’s children are doing well. Two-thirds (67 percent) of teens rate their health as being excellent or very good, according to a recent Canadian Community Health Survey and a further 28 percent rate their health as good. The Canadian Institute for Health Information analysed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Children and Youth and found that almost three out of four (71 percent) of youth age 12 to 15 report high levels of self worth. “These are all positive attributes for a good picture of children’s mental health in Canada,” says the study author, Kelly Schwartz, PhD.
However, on the flip side, many children who are in need of assistance are slipping through the cracks. About one in five children have an identifiable mental health concern, but have difficulty accessing services and professionals to help. Eighteen percent of children age four to 16 had a problem, but only 6.5 percent of those received treatment. These problems include things like anxiety and depression.
One solution is a school-based mental health framework. This addresses the issue of accessibility and empowers families, schools and communities to come together to support children’s mental health. “All Canadian children can and should have access to a comprehensive mental health framework specific to their needs and development,” concludes Dr. Schwartz.
Are the Kids All Right? Children’s mental health and what Canada can must do about it can be read in full, here.
To arrange an interview with the author, please contact Andrea Mrozek at 613-565-3832.