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

Sarah Simpson Column: Perfect road trip features flat tire and lost wallet

My husband is a loser. Not a loser in the dead-beat, good-for-nothin’… Continue reading

Are you 55 or older? Try 5 sports for free

June 5 event promotes BC 55+ Games and active living

Outlaws make statement in first spring hockey tourney

2011 team takes bronze in brilliant debut

T.W. Paterson column: A close call for HMCS Athabaskan

“There was no escort of any kind at all and we couldn’t make any more than 12 knots…”

Brentwood, DCS lead provincial track qualifiers

Heisterman, Hayer, Castle and Bannister claim Island gold

VIDEO: Canadian breaks women’s world record for longest plank

Dana Glowacka, of Montreal, held a plank for four hours and 20 minutes

Coming up in Cowichan: From bike rodeo to ‘A Word About Consent’, lots on the calendar

Christian Science event coming to Duncan Saturday, May 25 “Breaking News: Freedom… Continue reading

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read