Welcome to the ProjectBe resource page! One of the main priorities of ProjectBe is to raise awareness about our three pillars. Explore some key resources below to learn more.
Youth Mental Health
Statistics Canada found that one in three Canadians will be affected by a mental illness in their lifetime.
Many mental illnesses start in childhood and adolescence. The Mental Health Commission of Canada estimates that one in five, or 1.2 million, children and youth in Canada are affected by a mental illness.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, 70% of mental illnesses have their onset during childhood or adolescence.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health reports that young people aged 15 to 24 are more likely to experience mental illness and/or substance use disorders than any other age group. As per the Mood Disorders Society of Canada, 18% of adolescents experienced a mental illness or substance use disorders in 2019.
In 2020, it was reported by the Canadian Institute for Health Information that nearly one in four hospitalizations for children and youth ages 5 to 24 were for mental illness.
Many Canadians experienced negative mental health impacts over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Canadian youth reported worse mental health than older Canadians both before and during the pandemic. A 2020 survey on the health of youth in Canada, participants aged 15 to 34 had reported that their mental health had worsened since the onset of COVID-19 and related measures such as physical distancing. Compared to pre COVID-19 data, youth aged 15 to 24 reported the largest declines in mental health by age group – a 20-percentage point reduction from 60% in 2019 to 40% in July 2020. Youth in unstable households have also become more vulnerable to abuse, physical violence, and food insecurity.
There are more than 1.8 million Indigenous people across Canada, according to Statistics Canada,. representing approximately 5% of the total Canadian population. The Indigenous population grew by 9.4% from 2016 to 2021. Over the same period, the Indigenous population has grown almost twice the pace of the non-Indigenous population.
In 2022, the Indigenous unemployment rate was at about 8% compared to 5% for non-Indigenous people.
Almost one in five Indigenous people in Canada live in a low-income household, including nearly one quarter of Indigenous children aged 14 years and younger in 2021, more than double the rate among non-Indigenous children. Indigenous peoples in Canada continue to experience significant health disparities, such as a higher incidence of chronic conditions and higher prevalence of related risk factors. In particular, the pandemic had significant social, economic and health impact on Indigenous people.
According to a 2022 study conducted by Statistics Canada on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Indigenous people's health care, Indigenous participants, notably those with disabilities and long-term conditions, reported worsened overall health and in particular mental health at rates higher than non-Indigenous participants.
This pillar also interacts with the homelessness pillar, as over the period of a year, Indigenous women and seniors are about 16 times more likely to experience homelessness than non-Indigenous people.
It is estimated that an average of 235,000 people in Canada experience one of the many types of homelessness each year.
Though this does not capture the true extent of homelessness in Canada, Statistics Canada estimates that 12,565 Canadians stayed in shelters during 2021. It was also reported that 2.2% of Canadians have experienced homelessness whereas 10.5% have experienced hidden homelessness.
Another pressing issue is the opioid epidemic, which has put many Canadians at risk, including our homeless population. The pandemic, and its corresponding restrictions on transportation, has led to a decrease in the quality of available drugs, increasing the potential harmful effects of black-market opioids.
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