Almost half of Ontario youth miss school because of anxiety, study suggests.

At five years old, Shannon Nagy told her mother she wanted to die. In Grade 6, she missed almost the entire school year because more often than not, she couldn’t get out of bed. Nagy, now 20, was diagnosed with anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and borderline personality disorder and was never able to finish high school. She spent most of her childhood immersed in a mental health care system that she said “did more harm than good.” Her struggle to get help and the impact that struggle had on her education is a trend captured in a new…

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Despite funding boost, advocates say Canada has a mental health crisis.

Frustrations over what some advocates are calling cutbacks to Afrocentric mental health services in Toronto came to a head last week in a town hall meeting in Scarborough. One by one, parents of Black youth stepped up to the microphone to share their experiences and voice their concerns over the lack of funding for programs. “We heard from a parent who spoke about basically having to refuse to leave the hospital because they were treating her 21-year-old son as just an angry Black man,” recalls Janelle Skerritt, a Black mental health advocate who moderated the town hall. “But she kept…

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Trying To Understand ‘What Made Maddy Run’.

Madison Holleran ran track at the University of Pennsylvania. She was popular and beautiful — and raised in a big, supportive family in a New Jersey suburb. “By all accounts, Madison in high school was this young, happy, vibrant, wildly successful human being, who was destined — according to everyone around her — to do amazing things with her life,” says sportswriter Kate Fagan. And from the outside, Madison appeared to be thriving in college, too. But inside, she was struggling with anxiety and depression. Then, in the middle of her freshman year, Madison ended her life by jumping from…

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Zelda Williams Gets Real About The Work It Takes To Manage Depression.

Zelda Williams is acknowledging some major truths about mental health. In an extensive interview with Teen Vogue, Robin Williams’ daughter talked about how she prioritizes mental health, what it’s like to be an advocate and the hard work it takes to manage a condition. She told the publication that one of the ways she focuses on her own mental health is by speaking about it openly. She hopes that by doing so, it helps people recognize signs of mental health issues. “I try to bring a lot of advocacy to the people who have maybe never felt their brain to be…

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Where To Get Help.

Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention: Find a 24-hour crisis centre. If you’re worried someone you know may be at risk of suicide, you should talk to them, says the Canadian Association of Suicide  Prevention. Here are some warning signs: Suicidal thoughts. Substance abuse. Purposelessness. Anxiety. Feeling trapped. Hopelessness and helplessness. Withdrawal. Anger. Recklessness. Mood changes.

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Why I Wish I Didn’t Watch ’13 Reasons Why’

TW: Suicide I recently finished watching “13 Reasons Why” on Netflix, and part of me wishes I didn’t watch it at all. Not because it’s a bad show, but because it hit just a little too close to home. The show provides a glimpse into the life and ultimate suicide of Hannah Baker, a fictional American teenager struggling to navigate high school amidst the rampant sexism and bullying that unfortunately shapes much of her experience. As the show unfolds, the audience, alongside Hannah’s friends, family and peers, learn the reasons Hannah ultimately decided to end her life. I finished “13…

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Medical students face ‘alarmingly high’ rate of depression, study finds.

Medical students are at high risk for depression and suicidal ideation, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In fact, medical students have an “alarmingly high depression prevalence” compared to what is seen in the general population, says study co-author, Dr. Douglas Mata, a resident physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. To conduct the study, researchers reviewed more than 180 studies involving 129,000 medical students worldwide, including those in Canada. They found the incidence of depression among this group was 27 per cent, compared to eight to nine per cent in the…

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It’s Okay to Not Be Okay Sometimes.

I feel much sorrow for the family and friends of the young man that took his life this week. I’ve been thinking about it a lot and even though I never met this individual I know the pain and emptiness that filled him. The cascade we put on pretending we’re happy and strong, because that’s what society expects. High functioning individuals. But deep down we’re empty. sad, and so very tired. Suicide isn’t something that just happens, it’s a conscious choice because of outside failures to help them before then. With schools and job fields getting more competitive, it’s not…

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The Frozen Man.

A reminder that miracles do happen as the result of a relentless healthcare team who put in everything they had to save this young man’s life. Heartwarming to see he is now on the right track to recovery both mentally, emotionally, and physically. KINGSTON, ONT.—Tayyab Jafar walks through a gruel of slush coating the wide pier behind a King St. public works building. He stops and points to the place he died. “Right about here,” says the fourth-year Queen’s University student from Oakville. The spot is at the pier’s edge. Near a warning in long faded letters stencilled across the…

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Where To Get Help.

The holidays can be a tough time for many individuals struggling with various forms of mental illness. If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help. The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868  all offer ways for getting help if you, or someone you know, is suffering from mental health issues. Don’t hold back and be afraid to reach out to get support.

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Enzyme Research Provides a New Picture of Depression.

Despite the fact that more than four percent of the world’s population suffer from depression, and even though approximately 1,500 individuals commit suicide each year in Sweden, the understanding of the pathophysiology of depression remains unclear and only a few new discoveries of mechanisms behind it have been made in recent years. New approved pharmacological interventions are mainly absent, despite intensive research on the subject. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have characterized the role of the enzyme CYP2C19 in depression and functional and morphological changes in the brain. The enzyme is responsible for the metabolism of many neuroactive compounds, including antidepressants,…

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#NotAlone

This paragraph from the article below is such a common theme with many young people that have opened up to loved ones: “I remember sitting at the kitchen table speaking with my parents about how I felt really depressed. I was in my early twenties and they clearly just didn’t understand. I know that it’s not that they didn’t care, but their response was something like, “Renee, you have a great life…nothing to be depressed about.” Perhaps they were under the false impression that depression could just be turned on and off or that people used the idea of depression…

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