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CAMH’s Student Mental Health and Well-Being Report released

August 2, 2012

On July 24, 2012, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health released a report on results from the 2011 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS). Since 1977, the anonymous student survey has tracked changes in health risk behaviours, attitudes and beliefs of Ontario from grades 7 to 12.

Some of the statistical findings highlighted in the report section on drugs are:

  • The prevalence of cigarette and LSD usage have reached all-time lows
  • Fewer students are using alcohol, tobacco and cannabis at an early age compared to students from past decades
  • About 11 per cent of females and 6 per cent of males report co-existing hazardous drinking and elevated psychological distress (i.e. symptoms of anxiety and depression)
  • 26 per cent of students across Ontario report having seen illegal drugs being sold in their neighborhood in 2010/2011

Some of the statistical findings highlighted in the report section on mental health are:

  • 16 per cent of students in 2011 rate their health as “poor” or “fair” in contrast to 6 per cent of students in 1991
  • Elevated psychological distress among male students has stayed at similar levels (24 per cent) since 1999, but it has increased among female students from 36 per cent to 43 per cent in 2011
  • One in ten students had serious thoughts about suicide in the past 12 months
  • 40 per cent of students report the feeling of being constantly under stress, 30 per cent report losing sleep because of worrying, and 27 per cent report feeling unhappy and depressed
  • 79 per cent of students do not meet the daily recommended physical activity guideline of 60 minutes of moderate to high intensity physical activity

The report on the survey results also provides information about violence, gambling, bullying, and physical health as mental health and well-being indicators.

The OSDUHS is conducted every two years in more than 150 elementary and secondary schools across Ontario, and is one of the longest ongoing school surveys in the world.

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