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Mental Health: The Basics

Although a child or youth who’s depressed or angry or anxious may feel isolated, he or she is not alone.  The problem is much bigger than most of us realize.  One out of every five children and youth under 19 struggles with a diagnosable emotional, mental or behavioural disorder.  These problems are painful, serious and very real.


Mental health problems can happen to any young person, regardless of age or circumstance.  Left untreated, kids in distress can turn to drugs and alcohol, become suicidal, drop out of school, become violent, or withdraw into silence and isolation.

Mental health problems are not the fault of the child.  They can affect a child or youth as easily as cancer or a physical disability.  The causes are varied and complex.  There’s no one to blame for it and there should be no shame in it.

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