Youth and Mental Health 101

Mental health challenges in youth




What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal and sometimes healthy emotion. However, when a person regularly feels very high levels of anxiety, it might become a more serious problem.1 Anxiety triggers something called the “fight–flight–freeze” response, which adds to stress. Anxiety can become a problem when we feel it during events that we perceive to be dangerous but aren’t, or when it stops us from being able to do our regular activities.


How anxiety might affect you

Anxiety may affect your thoughts, body and behaviours. Anxiety can cause you to lose sleep, avoid social situations, be nervous about making new friends, be afraid of being alone or feel uneasy about the unknown. Anxiety may cause panic attacks, and for some people, can lead to drinking or using other drugs to cope with their anxious feelings.2



    2.6 per cent of Canadians aged 15 and older have symptoms consistent with generalized anxiety disorder, an anxiety disorder characterized by a pattern of frequent, persistent worry and excessive anxiety about several events or activities.3

Canadians aged 15+ that have symptoms


    One in four Canadians (25 per cent) will have at least one anxiety disorder in their lifetime.4

Canadians that will have an anxiety disorder



1. Felman, 2018

2. Anxiety Canada Youth, 2018

3. ConnexOntario, 2019

4. ConnexOntario, 2019

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