Kids’ mental health

Child and youth mental health is become a growing concern.

According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), it’s estimated that as many as one in five Canadian youth may develop a mental disorder.

While it is not clear whether more youth are developing mental disorders today than in the past, a recent CIHI analysis shows an increase in rates of emergency department hospitalization use for mental disorders among this cohort.

Many experts believe that technology might be having a negative impact on youth development. It is not difficult to come to this conclusion once you realize how technology has changed the way we interact with each other and how we spend our time.

Developmental psychologist Marilyn Price-Mitchell wrote on Psychology Today magazine that for healthy development to occur, children must experience real-life peer friendships and positive relationships with adults.

“They must overcome challenges and obstacles in the real world, learn from mistakes, and reflect on the adult they hope to become,” she wrote.

She argues that if children are spending several hours a day engaged in non-school related technology, there’s not enough time left to make the human connections they need.

The number of calls that the Burns Lake RCMP receives related to mental health occurrences has been increasing since January 2016. This increase has been driven mostly by individuals under the age of 18. A recent RCMP report states that Burns Lake “may benefit from exploring mental health service delivery options to youth.”

Burns Lake youth have recently had access to some resources. Earlier this month, the Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative hosted a health fair for local students to promote wellness and awareness of mental health issues. Service providers set up approximately 15 tables and provided resources and engaging activities.

The ‘ReachOut Psychosis’ tour also made a stop in Burns Lake earlier this month. By identifying psychosis as a serious but treatable medical condition of the brain, the tour works to help youth and their friends and teachers recognize it early and receive help.

Mental illness is a high-cost condition for which many jurisdictions across Canada are putting specific services in place. According to CIHI, patients with mental illness have costlier and longer stays, and are more likely to have repeat visits. This underscores the importance of early intervention.

But instead of raising awareness and finding new ways to treat mental illnesses, perhaps we need to reassess how we are raising our kids and determine what level of technology exposure can be considered healthy.

I now consider myself lucky that I did not have access to this endless stream of technology and social media while I was growing up and that I was able to experience real life. Unfortunately, this is a luxury our kids no longer have.

mental health

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

COVID-19 cases grow to 13 at B.C. First Nation near Fort St. James

“This is very serious,” says Nak’azdli Whut’en Chief

Cullen confirmed as B.C. NDP candidate for Stikine despite party’s equity policy

Former Tahltan Central Government President Annita McPhee said the process made her feel “abused”

Freeport — the camp site that was the region’s largest community

A story of the construction of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway

Burns Lake to get a pedestrian-activated light

The blind turn at the RBC crossing to get safer

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Most Read