Twice as many Ontario students (24 percent) are seeking mental health care than in 1999, according to the 2009 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS). The purpose of the survey is to identify trends among Ontario students (grades seven to 12) related to drug use, mental health, physical activity and risk behavior, and to identify risk and protective factors. The survey has been conducted every two years since 1977 and is anonymous and self-administered.
Other key findings from the 2009 OSDUHS include: an increase in the number of students reporting poor health over the past two decades; unchanged rates of 30 percent of students expressing elevated psychological distress, including feelings of depression, anxiety and social dysfunction; and 10 percent of students spending, on average, seven hours per day watching television or using the computer. Relating to drug and alcohol use, 58 percent of students reported drinking alcohol in the past year, including higher rates for males (60 percent) than females (56 percent), and a significant decrease over the past 10 years in the use of many types of drugs, including alcohol, cigarettes, solvents, stimulants and LSD. The survey also found marked regional differences in student responses.
See “2009 OSDUHS Drug Use Report” and “2009 OSDUHS Mental Health and Well-Being Report,” Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, July 2010, available at www.camh.ca.