The Canadian Mental Health Association has warned that young people are becoming increasingly anxious and confused about their health and safety.
A report from the association says there are now “very high rates” of mental health issues in young people and they are not being treated appropriately.
The association says that the prevalence of mental illness in Canada is “exceptionally high.”
The number of young people who experience a mental health problem has risen to nearly 20 per cent.
The report, released Friday, says young people often feel they are invisible to the care system.
“They feel like their mental illness is not going to be treated in the same way that their physical health is,” said Dr. Sarah Flanders.
The authors of the report say they know what it’s like to have to deal with a mental illness.
“The stress that people are under at this age is often so intense that it’s a constant threat to themselves,” said Flanders, the president of the Canadian Mental health Association.
The report also notes that young Canadians are not getting enough mental health support. “
What it feels like to feel invisible to society is often the real problem.”
The report also notes that young Canadians are not getting enough mental health support.
The Canadian Association of Physicians for Mental Health (CAMP) says more than 20 per to 30 per cent of young adults do not get the care they need, and a further 30 per to 40 per cent do not receive support for depression and anxiety.
Flanders says that’s unacceptable and she believes the government should be doing more to help young people.
“We’re trying to be a leader in our own community to help prevent young people from going through this kind of thing and to make sure that we provide services to young people, that we’re able to deal and treat them with care and attention,” she said.
Fells says the mental health issue is on the rise and it is happening in all walks of life, but it is particularly prevalent in young women.
“I think that is something that needs to be addressed in the community and we need to have more education for young people to help them understand that there is something else out there, that there’s a lot of other options,” said the associate medical director of the health group.
The CAMP also says the country is missing out on an opportunity to address the issues with mental illness because we have a very high rate of unmet needs for mental health.
The organization also says it is critical that the Canadian Government address the issue.
“Our nation is failing young people when it comes to mental health,” said CAMP president David Gannon.
“Young people need help, they need help now, and we cannot afford to wait and see what happens.”
Flanders said the report’s findings highlight the need for more mental health services.
“When you have a situation like this, where young people have to put themselves out there for care, that is a huge amount of stress and a huge cost that we don’t get paid for,” she added.
The federal government says it will continue to invest $2.5 billion over the next five years in mental health programs, but Flanders is not optimistic that will happen.
“It is the lack of funding, we know that, that has been the real issue here,” said she.
“And we have the federal government saying that this is going to happen, that it is not our responsibility, and that it has to be funded through the provinces.”
She also noted that the CAMP’s report does not address any other potential gaps in the Canadian health system.