Youth and Mental Health 101

Mental health challenges in youth


youth with head down


What is suicide?

Suicide means intentionally ending your own life. It is the second leading cause of death among young Canadians. Compared to other age groups, youth are more likely to have suicidal thoughts and harm themselves, increasing their risk for a suicide attempt. Suicide and mental health are deeply connected: it’s estimated that 90 per cent of people who die by suicide were experiencing a mental health challenge. Someone who shares thoughts of suicide needs to be taken seriously.1


How suicidal thoughts might affect you

Most youth with these thoughts will not try to end their life; however, these thoughts may be a sign of emotional distress and depression. Some youth who experience suicidal thoughts don’t necessarily want to die; they may just want their pain to end.2

If you are in crisis and think you may harm yourself, go to your local emergency department or call 911 immediately.


1. MHCC, 2015

2. YMHC, 2018

Youth and Mental Health 101 © , CAMH.