Mental Health and the Canadian Teen

Some of you may know I have a wonderful teen age daughter, some of you have even met her. She is an awesome girl and I don’t say that just because I am her mom, but she has many great qualities, and it is WITH her permission I write about something important. She happens to think it is important too.

My daughter is a Canadian teen with a mental health issue. We waited a very LONG time to get a proper diagnosis, and now will have to wait an even longer time to get her the services she needs and deserves. In the meantime much of my paycheck is going to private therapy. Here in Ontario, the coverage for many of the services needed are not covered and wait times for community based services after a teen is diagnosed here in Toronto are at least a year long. Those are the facts. These facts as those that surround mental health in Ontario scare me, and they should scare you. When talking to my daughter’s specialist last week I found out here not a SINGLE benchmark is being met, and kids are dying or going unserviced. 1 in 3 Canadian teens who need mental health services NEVER get them.

Does that scare you? It scares me.

Because 1 in 5 teens will have some sort mental health issue, and those who don’t will have a family member with one. That is the reality.

I decided to create an infographic to share the facts and I would encourage you to share the facts too, may they be the catalyst for change. WAIT times need to be reduced, funding needs to be increased. School supports need to be in place. There is much to do.

and now for the FACTS.

Mental Health and the Canadian Teen


6 thoughts to “Mental Health and the Canadian Teen”

  1. Holly,

    You have written about something that touches all of us. Mental health issues strike at any age and they are complex, confusing and overwhelming. I think that supporting a teen who is experiencing mental health issues is very challenging for families. I know this because I too live it. Often parents struggle to understand if their child is simply going through typical teen behaviours or if they are struggling on a deeper level. We have a long way to go in our Provinces and as a country to address these issues. I understand your frustrations. My family has faced similar challenges. It is time for us to start meeting the benchmarks and ensure we are raising a generation of children who are able to grow into healthy, mentally well and capable adults.
    Jane Boyd recently posted…Today We Played – IntentionallyMy Profile

  2. One key not mentioned, but so needed, is education. Unfortunately, the teachers in our school system (heck;I'd say, most people) aren't educated, nor do they have the resources, to help kids with mental health issues.

  3. I was impressed that your daughter gave her permission for you to share your/her story. There is such a stigma attached, particularly when you are a teen, to persons with mental health issues. So bravo. We also struggled mightily in our family to the point that I convinced "authorities" that our child's death would be accidental, but it was imminent. We ended up taking our child out of country and worked with OHIP to cover some of the costs because we demonstrated that services were not available in Ontario. This was 10 years ago, so regrettably nothing has changed. Even though the struggle is still there, my now adult child is alive with good prospects for future happiness. I too have moved back into a relatively normal life that now seems so distant from a time trying to parent a hostile, violent, frustrated pre-teen and teenager.
    Alison Pentland (@FeeFiFoFunFaery) recently posted…My Son the Pre-Teen ZombieMy Profile

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