More than a third of Quebec teenagers are in psychological distress: study

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MONTREAL -- A study on the well-being of young Quebecers reveals that more than a third of them aged 15 to 17 have a high level of psychological distress.

The study released Thursday by the Fondation Jeunes en Tete also found that more than one in two young people said they felt sad or depressed in the last month, and that girls were almost twice as likely as boys to report experiencing psychological distress.

Catherine Burrows, director of youth services at the organization, noted that in some areas the study revealed that teens are doing better than before, while for others the opposite is true.

The study also found that concerted actions by the various stakeholders in the lives of young people, such as schools, health professionals or the government, can have promising and lasting effects on them.

The study was conducted at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) by the Observatoire Jeunes et Société (OJS). It measured the well-being of young people in terms of their  education, physical and mental health and their living environment, working with data from Statistics Canada, the Institut de la Statistique du Québec and various Quebec ministries.

Five months ago, Health and Social Services Minister Danielle McCann announced that her government would invest $40 million to improve youth mental health services and reduce waiting lists. A forum called Jeunes et sante mentale (Youth and Mental Health), bringing together some 200 experts, researchers, physicians, mentally ill youth and their families, was held recently in Quebec City.

This report by La Presse Canadienne was first published Oct. 10, 2019.