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When it comes to mental health, youth is a critical period.

Two years into the pandemic, 70% of school-aged children, and 66% of pre-school aged children have experienced a deterioration in their mental health. The pandemic has and will continue to have significant and lasting negative mental health impacts, particularly on youth.

Most people living with a mental illness see their symptoms begin before age 18, but only 1 in 5 Canadian children receive appropriate mental health services.

We can’t just wait to treat mental illness. We must head it off.

Youth need support today. Your contributions can help head off crisis, build resilience and equip kids with the skills necessary to care for themselves and their communities.

That’s why this spring, mental health champions in the insurance industry are issuing this challenge:

Join the movement of insurance professionals supporting youth mental health.






The Issue

The pandemic, with its uncertainty, social isolation, educational interruptions, has brought intense stress for young people at an incredibly formative time in child development. The impact of the pandemic will not only change the course of individual lives but has the potential to affect an entire generation.

When it comes to mental health, childhood and adolescence couldn’t be more critical. Did you know:

  • Most mental illnesses appear before a person turns 18 
  • In fact, 70% of mental health problems begin in childhood and adolescence
  • Even before the pandemic only 1 in 5 children in Canada were receiving appropriate mental health services
  • 20% of all Canadian youth are affected by a mental illness.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youth and young adults between 15-34 years.


The Solution

When it comes to youth mental health, we can’t just treat illness. We have to get ahead of it. We need to protect our greatest asset – the health of the next generation.  

Youth need support today. We need to intervene early in life before illness can take hold. 

There are effective ways to build resilience and equip children with the emotional and social skills they need to support their mental health. CMHA’s BounceBack and other CMHA programs aimed to support youth include:

  • teaching age-appropriate social and emotional skills, like empathy and identifying emotions in others
  • helping students develop impulse control and self-regulation, manage anger and stress
  • teaching listening and communication skills and how to get along with others.  

CMHA believes in care before crisis. There is so much more that can be done to promote mental health, prevent mental illness and intervene early. Doing so takes the pressure off the acute-care system by preventing mental health problems or addressing them early.   






If there is immediate risk, take immediate action.

Call 911, or your local Mobile Crisis Service

Call Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
Text CONNECT to 686868
Available 24/7

LGBTQ2S+ Crisis Line: 1(800) OUT-IS-OKAY (688-4765)

For non-urgent support, find your local CMHA or reach out to Kids Help Phone.




Get The Word Out