Students struggling with mental health
Almost half of Ontario youth miss school because of anxiety, according to a new study.
At five-years-old, Shannon Nagy told her mother she wanted to die. In Grade 6, she missed almost the entire school year because more often than not, she couldn’t get out of bed.
Nagy, now 20, was diagnosed with anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and borderline personality disorder, and was never able to finish high school.
Her struggle to get help and the impact she says that struggle had on her education — she never graduated from high school — is a trend captured in a new survey commissioned by Children’s Mental Health Ontario, released Tuesday.
It found of the 18- to 34-yearolds surveyed across the province, 46 per cent had missed school due to issues related to anxiety and 40 per cent had sought mental health help.
Parents are also impacted when their child has to wait as long as 18 months for mental health care, said Kimberly Moran, CEO of CMHO, the association that represents Ontario’s publicly funded mental health centres and advocates for government policies and programs.
“Parents miss work and certainly myself as a parent, I have to take time to look after my daughter,” Moran said.
The study, conducted by research firm Ipsos, surveyed 806 people in October and suggests that a quarter of parents have had to miss work to care for their child due to issues related to anxiety.