Stu­dents strug­gling with men­tal health

Metro Canada (Ottawa) - - Front Page -

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.

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