Anx­i­ety af­fect­ing school at­ten­dance

StarMetro Toronto - - News -

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. She spent most of her child­hood im­mersed in a men­tal health care sys­tem that she said “did more harm than good.”

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-year-olds sur­veyed across the prov­ince: 46 per cent had missed school due to is­sues re­lated to anx­i­ety, 40 per cent had sought men­tal health help and 42 per cent did not get the help they needed or are still wait­ing.

CMHO is ask­ing the prov­ince to in­vest $125 mil­lion in com­mu­nity-based men­tal health cen­tres, staffing and ser­vices for chil­dren and youth.

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