Mental Health Facts

There is no health without mental health (WHO, 2014, para.1). Mental health involves every aspect of human development in­cluding a person’s thoughts, feelings and actions. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), mental health is defined as the capacity of each and all of us to feel, think, act in ways that enhance our ability to enjoy life and deal with the challenges we face (PHAC, 2014, para. 2).

  • A complex interplay of genetic, biological, personality and environmental factors causes mental illnesses.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 10 to 24 year olds (24% of all deaths).
  • Surpassed only by injuries, mental disorders in youth are ranked as the second highest hospital care expenditure in Canada.
  • Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
  • Schizophrenia is youth’s greatest disabler as it strikes most often in the 16 to 30 year age group, affecting an estimated one person in 100.
  • Mental illness is increasingly threatening the lives of our children; with Canada’s youth suicide rate the third highest in the industrialized world.
  • UNICEF reports that Canadian kids scored among the lowest in a study of 29 countries when asked about the quality of the relationships they share with peers and their parents.
  • It is estimated that 20% children and youth in Ontario are affected by a mental illness or disorder.
  • This number is expected to increase to 50% by 2020.
  • In Canada, only 1 out of 5 children who need mental health services receives them.
  • Children with conduct disorders are eight times more likely to develop ADHD as teenagers. Teens with ADHD are twice as likely as other children to develop anxiety or a substance use disorder as adults.
  • Up to 70 per cent of young adults living with mental health problems report that the symptoms started in childhood.
  • The total number of 12 to 19 year olds in Canada at risk for developing depression is a staggering 3.2 million.
  • Today, approximately 5% of male youth and 12% of female youth, age 12 to 19, have experienced a major depressive episode.
  • Almost one half (49%) of those who feel they have suffered from depression or anxiety have never gone to see a doctor about this problem.
  • Currently, Only 57% of youth aged 12 to 19 in Renfrew County perceive their own mental health as “good” or “excellent” (STATS CAN 2014).
  • This number drops to 45% among girls.
  • Nearly ALL children face other challenges regarding their health, school, family life and relationships.
  • Once depression is recognized, help can make a difference for 80% of people who are affected, allowing them to get back to their regular activities.
  • 23 to74% of homeless people in Canada report having a mental illness.