Mental health challenges exist at all ages. An estimated 95,000 children aged 4 to 17 years in B.C. are experiencing mental health disorders at any given time.
Youth may experience mental health or substance use challenges for different reasons, whether stemming from school, social pressure, self-esteem or other factors. Mental health can move along a spectrum through mental wellbeing to mental illness.
It is essential that young people feel informed, supported, and empowered to find support. This includes finding safe and healthy ways to cope with what is currently going in the world.
If you are a parent or have a young person in your life, you have likely been navigating conversations about the COVID-19 pandemic. With all the changes happening during this time, things will look different than they did before the pandemic. For youth, feelings of uncertainty may arise as life shifts to the “new normal”. It is natural to feel anxiety, confusion, or anger, or experience emotions that change from day-to-day.
When youth are experiencing mental health challenges, they might not know how to identify what they are experiencing. They can feel helpless and unsure of the next step. Youth may express that they feel overwhelmed or stressed, or may not say anything at all. Some may also begin to experiment with substances as a way of coping with challenges.
Changes in emotions, mood and behaviour can signal that youth need additional support with their mental health. Youth, parents and guardians often feel uncertain about where to start when it comes to finding support.
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If your organization would be interested in receiving print materials from the Wellbeing team, get in touch at MMHAweb@gov.bc.ca to place an order