Youth and Mental Health 101

Mental health challenges in youth


young boy

Mental health challenges can affect people of any age, but they often appear in our teenage years or early adulthood. They can range from challenges that last for a short period of time to those that are lifelong. There is no single cause for most mental health challenges.1 They may result from our genetics, the environments we grew up in, our social and economic class and most often, a combination of these elements.2

Examples of stressors that can affect our mental health are:

    academic pressure
    conflicts with our parents or caregivers
    job pressures
    peer pressure/trying to fit in
    balancing expectations of self, peers, parents and family
    bullying, either at school or online.

Mental health challenges that affect youth include:

    anxiety
    depression
    eating disorders
    schizophrenia
    substance use
    self-harm
    suicide.

It’s possible that someone could experience two or more of these problems together. It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different, even if they have the same diagnosis.


1. PHAC, 2015b

2. MHCC, 2009