Number of Windsor teens in crisis said to be on the rise
The number of Windsor teenagers in crisis is on the rise say mental health professionals.
Hundreds each year are said to be reporting having suicidal thoughts or attempting suicide.
Youth are turning up at emergency rooms and crisis centres with high levels of anxiety and depression, according to professionals in the field. Many teens say they are seriously contemplating suicide.
Maryvale is a mental health treatment centre in Windsor that treats youth between the ages of seven and 17.
Janet Orchard, psychologist and program manager at Maryvale says the centre usually sees about 300 youth each year. The average age of the youth is 14.
"All of the emergency rooms in Ontario are reporting a huge increase in emotional and behavioural crisis presentations for young people," Orchard said.
Orchard said she sees many youth from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
The Pride Community Centre said the number of people coming through their doors has nearly tripled in the past two years. The centre also has seen an increase in the number of teens having suicidal thoughts, staff said.
Bob Williams with the centre said if a young person is dealing with their own sexual orientation or gender identity - and if they try to keep that a secret - they can be especially at risk.
"The youth feel isolated and many times they will stay in their room and they will go on to the internet and they will look and search out certain things, but I think it's not a topic of conversation in everyone's home, unless something has happened for it to be apparent," Williams said.
Orchard said kids face all kinds of stresses today.
"We're seeing a tremendous amount of pressure on young people looking at what are they going to do after school and kids are experiencing a lot of stress related to how they're going to manage to have a life style, have a job, support a family," Orchard said. "We're really seeing as increasing the level of bullying behaviour that kids are then coping with."
While the number of young people in stress is on the rise, the number of teenage suicides is too small to draw any statistical conclusions or trends.
Overall, the number of suicides for all ages in Windsor has been steadily declining over the last few years.