Making the right connections
Promoting positive mental health among BC youth
McCreary Centre Society
Making the right connections Promoting positive mental health among BC youth
The McCreary Centre Society is a nongovernment not-for-profit committed to improving the health of BC youth through research, education and community based projects. Founded in 1977, the Society sponsors and promotes a wide range of activities and research to identify and address the health needs of young people in the province.
Copyright: McCreary Centre Society, 2011 ISBN: 978-1-926675-12-1 McCreary Centre Society 3552 Hastings Street East Vancouver, BC, V5K 2A7 www.mcs.bc.ca For enquiries or to order copies of this report, please e-mail: [email protected]
Funding for this report was provided by the BC Ministry of Health. Funding for the Adolescent Health Survey was provided by the Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Children and Family Development; Child Health BC; Northern Health Authority; and Centre for Addictions Research BC, University of Victoria. Funding for the youth focus groups and workshops was provided by the Vancouver Foundation; Office of the Representative for Children and Youth; Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Children and Family Development; Province of British Columbia, and Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch.
Project team Annie Smith Executive Director Elizabeth Saewyc Research Director Colleen Poon Research Associate Duncan Stewart Research Associate Carly Hoogeveen Research Assistant Maya Peled Research Associate Stephanie Martin Youth Participation Coordinator/ Report design and layout
Suggested citation Special thanks are due to the youth who completed the surveys and who participated in focus groups and workshops which are referenced in this report. Their contributions are greatly appreciated. Quotes from some of these youth are included throughout this report.
Smith, A., Poon, C., Stewart, D., Hoogeveen, C., Saewyc, E., and the McCreary Centre Society (2011). Making the right connections: Promoting positive mental health among BC youth. Vancouver, BC: McCreary Centre Society.
Table of contents
The survey 6 The analysis 6 Youth input 7 Limitations
MENTAL HEALTH OF BC YOUTH
Self-esteem 9 Stress and despair 9 Self-harm 10 Suicide 11 Limiting mental or emotional condition
ADDITIONAL MEASURES OF POSITIVE MENTAL HEALTH
General health 13 Positive body image
School safety 14 Aspirations for the future
ACCESSING MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
YOUTH AT RISK FOR EXPERIENCING MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES
Sexually abused youth
Physically abused youth 20 Immigrant youth 21 Teased or harassed youth 22 Youth with an unstable home life
Table of contents continued Youth living in poverty 25 Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth
Youth with a health condition or disability
MENTAL HEALTH AND OTHER HEALTH AND RISK BEHAVIOURS
Risky sexual behaviour
Sport and exercise
Substance use 30 PROMOTING POSITIVE MENTAL HEALTH
Support networks 31 Extracurricular activities
Youth engagement 38 Skills and competencies 39 A FURTHER LOOK AT PROTECTIVE FACTORS