Youth and Mental Health 101
Some experiences put people at higher risk of developing mental health challenges and facing gaps in mental health care. Sometimes these are challenges that come with identifying as a person in a certain community, such as experiences of sexism, racism, settler colonialism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, ageism and ableism, among others.
A few examples of groups who experience higher levels of mental health challenges due to the life experiences they may face are:1
When someone belongs to more than one of these groups, they may have higher rates of mental health challenges because there are more factors at play. Being regularly exposed to violence, discrimination, stigma and lack of resources can be traumatizing in itself. 2
However, although some youth are at higher risk because of these experiences, belonging to one of these groups doesn’t mean you will develop a mental health challenge or that all people within these groups will necessarily experience these things. Often, these groups face challenges because of systemic barriers, like access to services. In many cases, being a part of a community can be a sign of strength and solidarity.
1. MOHLTC, 2018
2. Kidd, 2018