We are on the mental health care team
What follows is an open letter to The Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins on the announcement of Phase 2 of the Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy in Ontario.
Dear Minister Hoskins:
Youth in transition from secondary to post-secondary education or the working world deserve our attention. Those who remember their own youth and care about youth know that this is an important and exciting time in one’s life and that it has become more complicated. Youth are challenged to forge a career or educational pathway, to form friendships, to have romantic relationships, to figure out who they are and how to move forward in a less-than-perfect world. For even the most well-resourced and supported youth, sometimes it doesn’t go well.
Add loneliness, trauma, poverty, unlucky genetics or other risks, and mental health challenges, addictions or mental illness may develop. In this context, these developmental hurdles can become overwhelming or insurmountable. Ironically in Canada, our system of mental health care is at its weakest when most mental health disorders and addictions are at their peak. According to Statistics Canada, 50 per cent of all mental health disorders begin by the age of 14 and 75 per cent begin by the age of 25.
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