Youth and Mental Health 101

Mental health: Definitions and use of language


75 per cent of Canadians age 12 to 19 rate their mental health as very good or excellent.1

Up to 70 per cent of mental health challenges begin during childhood or teenage years.2

17 per cent of Ontario high school students feel high levels of anxiety and depression.3

Between 15 and 25 per cent of Canadian youth experience at least one mental health challenge or illness before they turn 19. This may affect a person’s responses to challenges later in life.4

Half of female students in Ontario show signs of moderate to serious psychological distress5 (feeling unpleasant feelings or emotions that affect your ability to do things).

Canada’s youth suicide rate is the third highest in the industrialized world.6

1. CIHI, 2015; MHCC, 2015

2. Government of Canada, 2006

3. CAMH, 2017b; Boak et al., 2016

4. Anxiety Disorders Association of Ontario, 2018

5. CAMH, 2017b

6. CMHA, 2013

Youth and Mental Health 101 © , CAMH.