Working together to change the system! The Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Youth Council has created a youth version of Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada.
Healthy emotional and social development in early years lay the foundation for mental health and resilience throughout life. An estimated 1.2 million children and youth in Canada are affected by mental illness—yet, less than 20 per cent will receive appropriate treatment. By age 25, approximately 20 per cent of Canadians will have developed a mental illness. Youth who are engaged in child and adolescent mental health services, and who require continued services, are also often not well supported as they prepare to enter the adult mental health system.
Child and youth mental health is a collective responsibility requiring the engagement of parents, educators, health professionals, and community organizations. Improving the mental health of young people in Canada will require action on multiple fronts. Increased access to appropriate services and supports across the continuum of care is needed, including mental health promotion, early identification, primary care, specialized treatment, ongoing support, and long term care. Increasing comprehensive school health and post-secondary mental health initiatives that promote mental health and include targeted prevention efforts are also vital for improving the wellbeing of children and youth.
The Mental Health Strategy for Canada: A Youth Perspective
Created by MHCC’s Youth Council, this youth-written and designed version of the Strategy highlights the experiences and vision of young people working toward system change, ultimately making the Strategy more accessible to all.
Addressing emerging adult mental health
Food for thought: A youth perspective on recovery-oriented practice
This video, developed with our Youth Council, breaks down what youth see as some of the core principles of recovery-oriented mental health and addiction services. Reference the discussion guide to help direct your self-reflection or to facilitate critical discussions with others.
Post-secondary students Standard
The MHCC is embarking in a two-year project to develop a National Standard on Psychological Health and Safety for post-secondary students. Get involved!
The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) created a number of resources to support the mental health and wellness of children and youth across Canada. Click on the links below for more information.