Mental Health was the number one issue raised by young people across all engagement methods during the six month Voice of Our Youth consultation project. Students told us about the difficulty of navigating secondary school with a mental illness and what they perceive as a lack of understanding or support from their peers and teachers leaving them feeling isolated and without access to appropriate support services.
“I have dealt with harassment, bullying and having no support with my severe depression and anxiety… sometimes it feels like nobody loves me…”
“Almost my entire school experience I just felt like I was drowning… getting in to high school and dealing with my own mental health issues I felt like I sunk deeper and deeper.”
Young people we heard from are calling for:
1. More mental health education and training for both teachers and students,
2. Mental health education to be imbedded more fully into the curriculum,
3. Increased supports and reduction in stigmas surrounding mental health in schools, as well as in the broader community.
"Focus more on mental health and sexuality in class and teachers being more open minded for students."
"Improve connection with student/teachers to assist with mental health supports and to help provide better access to support services."
"Train all teachers in Mental Health First Aid so that they know how to support those in minority groups like the LGBTQI+ community."
"Make sure there are monthly mental health checkins for everyone and make sure you encourage students to check on their peers every once in a while."
Read the full report here.