From Ottawa Public Health, OSDUHS 2009 Youth Mental Health Report and Fact Sheet
- One in 10 Ottawa students report poor mental health
- One in four Ottawa students visited a mental-health professional in the past year
- There is an average of 52 suicides [all ages] a year in Ottawa; rates have been decreasing in Ottawa and Ontario since 1988
- In 2009, eight per cent of Ottawa students reported that they had seriously considered attempting suicide during the past year
- Male suicide rates are at least double the female rates; the highest rate of male suicide occurs in the group aged 50 to 64 years*
- Rates of emergency-room (ER) visits for self harm have been significantly higher in Ottawa than in Ontario
- Females, particularly those aged 15 to 19 years, have the highest rate of ER visits for self-harm incidents
- Most self-harm ER visits involve drugs, medications and alcohol (69 per cent)
*Author’s note: It is important to understand that while many teenagers suffer from some form of mental illness, and need to receive timely and effective treatment and support, suicide remains a rare event in this age group. There is no epidemic of teen suicide in Ottawa. That said, any suicide, of anyone, at any age, is one too many, and represents a tragic degree of devastation for families and communities. Speaking openly about mental illness, seeking help, encouraging others to seek help, knowing the signs to watch for that someone may be depressed and/or suicidal, and ensuring adequate community resources are available so that meaningful help is provided when it is asked for, is the only way to help the mentally ill, and possibly prevent suicide.
Where to get help:
24/7 Crisis Line – Youth Services Bureau (YSB)
Within Ottawa: 613-260-2360
Outside Ottawa (toll free): 1-877-377-7775
www.ysb.ca (0 to 18 years)
Within Ottawa: 613-722-6914
Outside Ottawa (toll free): 1-866-996-0991
www.crisisline.ca (16 years and older)
Rural Outaouais (toll free): 1-800-567-9699
Ottawa’s Youth Services Bureau now offers a Youth Mental-Health Walk-in Clinic, at 2301 Carling Ave. (corner of Richardson Ave. near Lincoln Fields Transit Station), Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 am to 8 pm (last session at 6 pm). For more information, click here.
Support for parents and caregivers of children up to the age of 12 is available through the Parents’ Lifeline of Eastern Ontario: www.pleo.on.ca
Other useful links and resources provided by Children’s Mental Health Ontario: www.kidsmentalhealth.ca
For a full list of mental-health-related resources available to youth, click here.