Contrary to what many South Asians think, mental health does not discriminate, it happens to people who come from great cultures and family values and to others who have none. The bad news is that more young children and teenagers are being afflicted by mental health issues. A recent survey suggests 3.6 per cent of adults aged 15 or older said they’d thought about suicide in the previous 12 months.
In a survey of adults aged 18 or older in Ontario, 2.2 per cent said they had seriously contemplated suicide in the previous year, according to Thursday’s report from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). It’s the first time that the hospital included a specific question about suicide in its long-standing annual survey.
The trend is prompting many school districts around the country to tackle the issue and dispel the taboo that exists around admitting mental health problems. One Burlington high school is holding an information night on mental health for parents.
There will be other speakers and representatives from a variety of community organizations.
There have been many cases of suicide and attempted suicide of many South Asian teenagers in Canada. Many parents live in denial and refuse to believe their children have a right or reason to be depressed.
Here are some pointers that could indicate if your child is suffering depression.
? Is irritable, sad, empty or cranky mood and belief that life is meaningless.
? Loss of interest in sports or activities they used to enjoy, withdrawal from friends and family, pervasive trouble in relationships.
? Changes in appetite, significant weight gain or loss.
? Excessive late-night activities, too much or too little sleep, trouble getting up in the morning, often late for school.
? Physical agitation or slowness, pacing back and forth and/or excessive, or repetitive behaviors.
? Loss of energy, social withdrawal, withdrawal from usual activities, or boredom.
? Making critical comments about themselves, behavior problems at school or at home, overly sensitive to rejection.
? Poor performance in school, a drop in grades, or frequent absences.
? Frequent complaints of physical pain (headaches, stomach), frequent visits to school nurse.
? Writing about death, giving away favorite belongings, comments like “You’ve be better off without me.”