Mental health is our priority.
Young people are more likely to experience mental health disorders than any other age group, but are severely underserved when it comes to accessing mental health care. Canadian adults afflicted with mental illnesses point to symptoms emerging at an early age. In fact, 75% of mental health issues begin before the age of 25, and 50% develop between the ages of 12 and 25.
With health services targeting either young children or adults, there is a critical gap weakening the system where it should be the strongest. Two facts tell the story: only 1 in 4 young people actually get the help they need and the first point of contact for young people is often the hospital emergency room.
Not only do most adults living with a mental health problem or illness say they experienced their first symptoms before 18 years of age, many say living with stigma is often worse than the illness itself. Youth are the most vulnerable population in Canada and they feel the impacts of stigma more than any other group. 60% of youth who have sought treatment in the last year say they have been affected by stigma and 75% of young Canadians never seek treatment for fear of being harshly judged or labelled.