Young people more affected by mental health problems

Les jeunes de plus en plus affectés par des problèmes de santé mentale

Photo: Annik MH de Carufel Archives The Duty
The ISQ has surveyed approximately 62 000 young people who completed a questionnaire on mental health, physical health and habits.

The high school youth are more likely to have mental health problems that there are six years of age and young girls are particularly affected, according to new data from the Institut de la statistique du Québec (ISQ) made public on Wednesday.

“The increase that we note since 2010-2011, it is as much in boys than in girls, but in overall, the prevalence of mental health disorders is higher among girls,” said Michael Berthelot, program co-ordinator public health survey in the ISQ.

In his Investigation, québec on the health of young people of secondary school in 2016-2017, the ISQ reports a rather gloomy picture of the mental health of young people, who are more likely to experience these problems and to give medications to treat it.

The ISQ has made this finding after filling out a questionnaire to approximately 62 000 young people, which also focused on the physical health and habits.

According to data from the ISQ, the number of students with a high level of psychological distress rose by eight percentage points, from 21% to 29 %.

Anxiety disorders are also more common. In 2010-2011, these issues were affecting 9 % of secondary school students. Six years later, they were 17 %.

Approximately 20 % of secondary pupils say they have received a doctor’s diagnosis for an anxiety disorder, depression and an eating disorder.

And according to the data, girls are much more affected than boys by these three disorders. According to the ISQ, 22.9% of girls were said to have received a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder, compared to 11.8 % of boys.

In addition, the proportion of adolescents with disorders of attention deficit with or without hyperactivity (ADHD) has jumped from 13 to 23 percent. This time, it is boys who are most affected; 27.4 per cent of them have received a doctor’s diagnosis, compared to 18.4 per cent of girls.

Drugs most widely

For mental health problems in general, students have more access to drugs to cure their ills, according to data from the ISQ.

“This is very worrying, said Michael Berthelot. If young people are forced to use more drugs to combat their mental health problems, this is very worrying for the health care system, and in general, the health of young people. “

In 2016-2017, almost 15% of students were taking drugs to focus, or calm down, as they were nearly 8 % six years earlier. According to the most recent data, among boys, 19 % consumed this kind of medication.

The numbers are lower for medications aimed at treating anxiety and depression, but there is here also an increase.

If 2.6% of the youth were medicated for these disorders six years ago, they were 3.6 % in 2016-2017, and for girls, this figure jumps to 4.2 %.

Good habits, and less good

For the other indicators analysed in the framework of this study, the ISQ reported a “significant decline” in the consumption of drugs, alcohol and cigarettes.

The young people began to consume alcohol later, and drink less often and in much more low. They also consume less drugs, and cigarettes.

However, their eating habits seem to degrade. Young people are less likely to consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables or milk and alternatives.

The number of students who do not eat breakfast before going to school has also increased since six years.

On the side of the physical health, several indicators have not changed in the last six years: about three out of four young (72 %) consider themselves to be in excellent health, and about 21 % of pupils were overweight.

Evolution of mental health problems in young people*

Anxiety disorders:

  • Girls: 22,9 % (11 % before)
  • Boys: 11.8 per cent (6.2 per cent before)
  • Girls: 7.7 per cent (5.9 per cent before)
  • Boys: 4,1 % (to 3.9 % before)

Eating disorders:

  • Girls: 3.4 per cent (2.5 per cent before)
  • Boys: 1 % (1,1 % before)

Disorder attention deficit (with or without hyperactivity):

  • Girls: 18,4 % (from 9.3 % before)
  • Boys: 27.4 per cent (15.9 per cent before)

*(For mental health problems among young people confirmed by doctors, according to the sex. Comparison between 2016-2017 and 2010-2011.)

The canadian Press

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