June 22, 2022

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10 things to know about the Halton Youth Impact Survey data on youth mental health

According to survey results, mental health isn't just a priority for some youth, but an urgent priority for all Halton youth, according to OKN interim executive director Elisabeth Wells.

1. In the spring of 2021, 2,599 youth aged 9 to 18 across Halton participated in the Halton Youth Impact Survey, implemented by Our Kids Network (OKN) as part of a national pilot project led by UNICEF Canada, the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Medavie Health Foundation.

2. Three in 10 respondents rated their mental health as very good or excellent.

3. Inequities exist in mental health in Halton, a trend that is reflected across Canada, according to OKN. Girls are around 50 per cent less likely to rate their mental health as good or excellent, compared to boys. Of the 30 2SLGBTQ+ youth and non-binary youth who self-identified in the survey, only 13 per cent rated their mental health as very good or excellent. Youth identifying as Indigenous were more likely to report having a diagnosed mood or anxiety disorder.

4. Geographic differences were a factor in the perceived mental health services in Halton. For example, youth in Halton Hills were less likely to rate the quality and accessibility of mental health services as good or excellent, compared to their peers in Oakville or Burlington.

5. Thirty-one per cent of youth were experiencing high levels of stress on most days. Girls and non-binary youth were more likely to report elevated levels of stress compared to boys.

6. Youth also indicated that they were feeling under constant stress due to trying to accomplish more than they could handle in terms of school work and due to the pressure to succeed.

7. OKN has shared the data with its “strong network” of community partners and will work together with them to create greater awareness of the findings and work with youth to generate some solutions that they would like to see happen, said OKN interim executive director Elisabeth Wells.

8. “The one thing that we can really say now is that mental health isn’t just a priority for some youth,” said Wells. “This is an urgent priority for all of our youth in Halton. We’re always playing catch-up for youth mental health, and results are telling us it’s really critical and it’s urgent.”

9. The Halton Youth Impact Survey provided 50 indicators that reinforce the need for community partners to consider child and youth well-being, their mental and physical health, community belonging, experiences in the community, their relationships and safety, among others.

10. While results were impacted by the pandemic, the data reflects ongoing concerns about youth mental health, according to OKN.


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