Youth Mental Health

Pt 1: Youth Mental Health - As many as 20 per cent of Canadian Children, Teens and Young Adults suffer from mental illness. And a lot of them aren't getting the help they need. We talk to a young teen diagnosed with major depression and anxiety and a doctor who is working on a national mental health strategy for children and youth.


It's Friday, January 7th.

Tim Horton's will be offering Torontonians blue and white donuts every time the Maple Leafs play a home game.

Currently, Fans can use the donuts to help keep score.

This is The Current.

Youth Mental Health - Raychael Fisher

We started the segment with a clip from friends and classmates of Daron Richardson. Daron was 14 when she hung herself in the basement of her family's home in November. She is the daughter of Luke Richardson, the Assistant Coach of the Ottawa Senators. And despite their grief, her family has chosen to speak publicly about the circumstances of her death in the hope of shedding light on teen suicide and mental health. It's something many people say needs more attention.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people in Canada ... after accidents. And studies show that more than 90 per cent of people who commit suicide have a diagnosable mental illness. Overall, it's estimated that one in five Canadian youth are struggling with a mental disorder. But just one in five of those who are struggling actually get help.

Raychael Fisher finally did get help. She began cutting herself and thinking about suicide when she was 12. She's 18 now. She has been diagnosed with major depression and anxiety. And she hasn't cut herself for a year. Raychael Fisher lives in Sarnia, Ontario. But she was in London, Ontario this morning.

Youth Mental Health - Simon Davidson

Simon Davidson's job is to look out for people like Raychael. He is the Chief of Child and Youth Mental Services at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. He's also working on a national mental health strategy for children and youth, as the Chair of the Child and Youth Advisory Committee with the Canadian Mental Health Commission. Simon Davidson was in Ottawa.

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* Photo by Nathan Denette/Canadian Press

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