The 1983 Ontario Child Health Study told us that 1 in 5 children and youth experienced serious mental health challenges. This estimate is outdated as is much of what we know about child and youth mental health in Ontario. The 2014 Ontario Child Health Study will tell us about the mental health status and needs of children and youth living in Ontario today.
From October 2014 to May 2015, Statistics Canada will be inviting 7,000 families with children aged 4 -17 years to complete an interview in their home. At the same time, McMaster researchers will be conducting School Mental Health Surveys in 240 Ontario schools to help us learn new ways of promoting and addressing student mental health needs.
Together, these studies will be the first of their kind in Canada to examine the influence of family, community and school environments on child and youth mental health. The results will be used to develop programs and services to improve the mental health of young people in Ontario. Results from the 1983 Study were partially responsible for over 3 billion dollars of investment in federal and provincial programs and services, resulting in the creation of programmes such as the Ontario Early Years Centres.
Participation in the 1983 Ontario Child Health Study was over 90%. Make sure you are heard in 2014 as well. Let's make our province a better place for children and youth. If invited to participate, please say ‘yes’ to the 2014 Ontario Child Health Study and School Mental Health Surveys.