The Chief Public Health Officer of Canada has released the “2011 Report on the State of Public Health in Canada.” This year’s annual report puts the focus on the health and wellbeing of youth (ages 12 to 19 years) and young adults (ages 20 to 29).
This is the fourth annual Chief Public Health Officer’s report. The health issues considered include: physical and mental health; injury; sexual and reproductive health; and substance use and abuse.
The document includes five chapters:
- an introduction;
- an overview of public health and the life course approach for youth in Canada;
- an analysis of the health and wellbeing of Canada’s children and youth;
- a discussion of creating health transitions; and
- a final chapter with priorities for action.
In terms of mental health, the report finds that although more than 75 per cent of young Canadians report their mental health as “very good” or “excellent,” 14 per cent of youth and 24 per cent of young adults report quite a lot of life stress. Individuals in low-income households – where Aboriginal, immigrant and homeless youth and young adults are overrepresented – were found to be more likely to report life stressors including job stress, relationship and financial issues. Importantly, the report finds that these young people as well as those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans experience discrimination and stigma which can contribute to mental health issues.
For more information and to read the full report, see the “Report on the State of Public Health in Canada 2011: Youth and Youth Adults – Life in Transition”, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, October 2011 available at www.phac-aspc.gc.ca.