YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS

  • Growing public concerns and evidence arising from the advocacy work and investigations of the province’s Representative for Children and Youth have prompted this office to conduct a review of child and youth mental health services.
  • Hospitals are sending away families and children who are having crisis mental health episodes. Public schools are unable to provide the necessary supports to students with mental health problems which are affecting their learning and social interactions.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death for BC youth aged 12-18 and Aboriginal youth are 5-6 times more likely to commit suicide than non-Aboriginal youth. Sexual minorities (gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, queer youth) are 7 times more likely to attempt or commit suicide than straight youth.
  • There are severe shortages of addiction treatment facilities for young people, and, unlike other health services, addiction treatment is largely a user-pay system. There is only one publicly- funded long-term residential treatment facility for teens in BC.

Q: Will you commit to increasing the availability of and funding for mental health and addiction services for children and youth both in school and in the community? 

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