FILE - In this Friday, Sept. 16, 2017, file photo, a person uses a smart phone in Chicago. A new analysis suggests that increased social media use could be one factor contributing to a rise in teen suicide. (AP Photo)

B.C. teens struggling more with anxiety, depression: 2018 report

The 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey included 140 questions and was conducted in 58 school districts

Teenagers in B.C. are struggling more with anxiety and depression, and taking part less in sports and volunteering, according to the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey.

The report, released Wednesday by the McCreary Centre Society, was administered in 58 of the province’s 60 school districts and was the sixth time students were asked to participate since 1992.

Despite the majority of adolescents rating their overall health and mental health as good or excellent, the report found that health ratings have declined from five years earlier.

Students who reported having an anxiety disorder or panic attack increased from eight per cent in 2013 to 19 per cent in 2018, and reports of depression rose from 10 to 15 per cent.

The number of girls who reported being verbally sexually harassed in the past year remains high at 50 per cent — an uptick from 46 per cent.

Other troubling statistics include more students who reported they had cut or injured themselves on purpose without trying to kill themselves, seriously considered killing themselves, and/or missed out on needed mental health services. However, the percentage of students who reported attempting suicide dropped to five per cent.

Most B.C. youth from 12 to 17 years old did not meet the Canadian physical activity guidelines.

“The survey results confirm what we have heard anecdotally: B.C. teens are generally less likely to be engaged in extracurricular activities … and they are more likely to be struggling with their mental health and sleep,” said Annie Smith, executive director at McCreary. “It was also worrying to see increases in areas such as racial discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and dating violence.”

Also encouraging was a decrease in the number of teens who reported have recently engaged in binge drinking, had a serious injury, or engaged in sexting.

Many results went unchanged from 2013, such as the percentage of students who tried alcohol, marijuana, or had sex.

Students who experienced setbacks but continued to persevere were more likely to report positive mental health and have plans to pursue post-secondary studies, and were less likely to experience extreme stress.

“It will be important to look into what is driving these results, and find ways to better support youth who are having these negative experiences,” Smith said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Coroner’s inquest announced for Oak Bay teen’s overdose death

Elliot Eurchuk was 16 years old when he died of an opioid overdose at his Oak Bay home

Councillor wants to see concrete action after Saanich declares climate emergency

Coun. Nathalie Chambers doesn’t want declaration to be mere ‘lip-service’

UPDATE: West Shore RCMP reunite camera with owner

Police sought public’s help to identify people photographed on the camera with record-time results

Beware of geese: Nesting season may trigger aggressive behaviour

Greater Victoria residents will have to be wary of nesting geese in the area

Greater Victoria leaders coming together to talk diversity and equity

Royal Road University’s Inclusion Project engages community stakeholders from public, private sectors

Victoria hosts ‘Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave’

The hockey cave was recently featured on a Netflix special

Military officer accused of sexual misconduct, drunkenness in B.C., Alberta

Warrant Officer Jarvis Kevin Malone is charged under the National Defence Act

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

Howard the giant gnome finds new home on Vancouver Island

Iconic attraction will move from Nanoose Bay to Galey Farms in Saanich

Harbour Air to convert to all-electric seaplanes

Seaplane company to modify fleet with a 750-horsepower electric motor

Sailings cancelled after BC Ferries boat hits Langdale terminal

The Queen of Surrey is stuck on the dock, causing delays to Horseshoe Bay trips

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

SPCA seizes 54 animals from Vernon property

Animals weren’t receiving adequate care

Morneau unveils principles for Indigenous ownership in Trans Mountain pipeline

The controversial pipeline was bought by Ottawa last year

Most Read