'Spike' in Sudbury youth reporting mental health problems
Youth seeking help for mental health issues doubles, according to recent numbers
In the past year in Sudbury, health experts say the number of teens and young adults seeking help has nearly doubled as more young people report signs of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.
"They are at their wits end, not coping, and looking for some help in getting back to normal," said Maureen McLelland, administrative director with Mental Health and Addictions in Sudbury.
The crisis centre at Health Sciences North has seen almost twice as many cases in the past year, compared to previous years.
The increase could be the result of more attention being paid to what could be a pre-existing issue, thanks to a provincial strategy called Open Minds Healthy Minds that was launched last year, said Mike O'Shea, a senior officer for mental health with the Local Health Integration Network.
The first three years of the 10-year plan to tackle mental illness in Ontario focuses solely on youth.
"So we're looking at schools, early identification, [and] treatment modalities for youth," O’Shea said.
More attention will be given to the matter, as the province has increased its spending — by 5 per cent — to nearly $800 million annually to help people dealing with mental illness.