More young Canadians seeking hospital help for mental health issues: report
A patient waits along the wall of a hallway in a hospital emergency room in this 2011 photo. (AP / David Goldman)
Published Monday, May 6, 2019 10:58AM EDT
Children and young adults are showing up in Canadian hospitals to get help with mental health-related issues far more often than in the past, bucking a trend that sees overall youth hospital visits on the decline.
According to new data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), there was a 65 per cent increase in mental health-related hospitalizations of Canadians between the ages of five and 24 from 2006-07 to 2017-18, as well as a 75 per cent increase in mental health-related emergency room visits. Hospitalizations for other conditions fell by 24 per cent in that age group over the same time period.
Girls and young women were responsible for slightly more of the ER visits and hospitalizations than boys and young men. Hospitalization rates were highest in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, and lowest in Nova Scotia and Manitoba.
The increases occurred even though the prevalence of young Canadians being diagnosed with mental health-related disorders over the 12-year period was relatively unchanged.
Additionally, CIHI found that 9.3 per cent of young Canadians, or about one in 11, were given medication for a mood or antipsychotic disorder in 2017-18.