Regional survey exploring mental health and well-being of youth
Survey will help inform decisions about programs, services and supports for youth
Hundreds of youth in Waterloo region are getting the opportunity to talk about their mental health and well-being through a local survey.
The region's Youth Impact Survey helps collect data to inform decisions about programs, services and supports available to youth in the community.
The survey was launched for the first-time last year by Waterloo region's Children and Youth Planning Table in partnership with the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, UNICEF Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Kitchener-Waterloo Community Foundation.
Maddie Reid, a 17-year-old youth connector who helps promote the survey, said it's one way youth can get involved.
"I think it's important because often times youth don't get to give their opinions … or have an impact in the decisions that are being made about their lives," she said.
"The response has been amazing … the youth … feel heard and they really like that."
More than 300 youth between nine and 18 have already filled out the region's Youth Impact Survey, which has a goal of reaching 1,000 youth this year.
We're having a Survey Party! Join the CYPT Youth Connectors to have some fun, learn more about the survey, & ask questions. Plus, there's a chance to win a hoodie for someone in attendance! <br><br>May 26, 4:30 pm <br><br>Link in bio at <a href="https://t.co/awDpYDcV0k">https://t.co/awDpYDcV0k</a> <a href="https://t.co/WimV1XKk0J">pic.twitter.com/WimV1XKk0J</a>—@CYPTWR
Data suggests challenges
Last year, the region heard from 300 people, said Alison Pearson, manager of Community, Engagement Planning with the Children and Youth Planning Table
"For some people, it was a really trying and difficult time and for others, there were benefits that were coming through … we heard things about the importance of belong and connection for young people … we heard, not surprisingly that participially in things was really compromised," she said.
Pearson said four in 10 people said their mental health was very good or excellent, meaning the majority felt otherwise.
After this year's data collection, the region will have enough information gathered to see how young people are mentally during two points in the pandemic.
The region was the first community to pilot the survey last year. This year, three other communities have been included: Ottawa, Halton Region and Tri-Counties in Nova Scotia.
People who fill out the survey can receive volunteer hours or be entered into a draw for prizes. The survey is open till May 31.