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

COLUMN: Search for Grace shows community’s true nature

As Chilliwack searches for missing woman, a writer looks back 61 years at a similar story

Serious police incident unfolding at Sts’ailes

Small reserve near Agassiz surrounded by police vehicles, helicopter, ERT

VIDEO: Agassiz farm spreads awareness for barn owls

Miel Bernstein hopes others will learn how they can help the threatened owl species

Fraser-Cascade school district hosts by-election to fill void left by passing of Tom Hendrickson

Advance voting begins on July 17, with general voting on July 27

Chilliwack cadet takes staff position in Comox

Air cadet one of about 20,000 youth enrolled in programs across Canada this summer

VIDEO: Agassiz remembers local officer at grave-marking ceremony

Montague White-Fraser had been buried in the Old Cemetery for 92 years without a headstone

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

RCMP release sketch of suspect in SFU assault, appeal to witnesses who helped woman

The RCMP want to talk to two women who helped the victim after she got to the parking lot

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

‘Beyond the call’: Teen in police custody gets birthday surprise by B.C. Mountie

Unusual celebration started when Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik went to visit the teen in his Coquitlam cell

Most Read