(Canada) London, ON: "1/3 of students... have moderate to severe symptoms of physiological distress"

Dec 8, 2017, London (Ontario) Free Press: We are living in an age of anxiety — stresses are piling up and the young lack skills to cope ...But more and more people in this country, and around the world, are suffering from symptoms of anxiety even when these stressors are not occurring in their daily lives. They have lost control over how their bodies and minds react to normal, everyday stress. It’s immobilizing thousands of young and adult Canadians who are suffering from various forms of anxiety disorder. The symptoms include excessive worry, trouble sleeping, panic attacks, nausea, muscle tension, trauma flashbacks and nervousness in social settings. Anxiety turns into a disorder when its sensations and symptoms interfere with normal life. The problem begins with our young people. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health conducted a study involving more than 10,000 students in Grades 7 through 12 in 220 schools across Ontario. It examined the prevalence of anxiety symptoms, such as feeling nervous, hopeless, worthless or depressed. The findings are disturbing. One-third of students in the survey were found to have moderate to severe symptoms of physiological distress. That’s up from two years earlier when one-quarter suffered the same levels of mental illness. And 14 per cent of students met the criteria for “serious” physiological distress, up from 10 per cent only a few years ago. Older teens spend more than five hours daily on social media, which is known to have mental health effects as users worry about its overwhelming demands. They’re also concerned about student debt, job prospects, a diminished sense of safety and the depressing state of the world with commonplace bombings, shootings, famine and the killing of innocent civilians. Part of the problem is parents who try to bring up their children in anxiety-free bubbles. When those children eventually enter the world on their own, they’re ill-equipped to deal with the conveyer belt of challenges in everyday life. They lack the necessary problem-solving skills. … Children’s Mental Health Ontario’s latest survey found nearly half o f 18- to 34-year-olds missed school due to issues related to anxiety. Half of those who sought help didn’t receive it or are still waiting. And parents miss work trying to look after children waiting months for counselling. The CMHO is pressing the province to invest $125 million in community-based mental health centres, staffing and services for children and youth.