About the YMHE Action Group:
YMHE Action Group members include educators, parents, suicide survivors, people with lived experience of mental health/youth mental health and concerned community members.
We meet regularly to plan public campaigns to increase awareness of youth mental health issues in the educational system and to discuss ways of fundraising to support our mission of accessible education for all students.
The Reality of Mental Health for Youth
Young people aged 15 to 21 are 1.2 billion of the world's population - about 15 percent of the world's population of 6 billion. According to Statistics Canada, teenagers and young adults aged 15-24 experience the highest incidence of mental disorders of any age group in Canada. The second leading cause of death for young people is suicide.
Schools must deal with this reality and yet, most are under-equipped and trained and inadequately supported to handle such complex issues as mental health in education. The school environment poses very clear challenges to a young person with mental health issues.
Having understanding, flexible and trained administrators, teachers and school healthcare professionals who offer timely, effective and coordinated responses to individual issues of mental health could make a difference. However, the reality for most schools is that there is no system in place or adequate funding available to respond to mental health issues to ensure that individualized, inclusive, coordinated and compassionate responses are explored with students and their families and teachers.
YMHE Action Group MissionStatement
That public education has the funding and supports to make accessible education a reality.
We believe that children and youth with mental health challenges have the right to be respected, supported and included in schools and communities.
We believe that children and youth have the right to mental health treatment and support services that are timely, effective and coordinated.
Investment in Potential
We believe that meeting the mental health needs of children and youth requires significant financial and professional investment that is sustained throughout the young person's schooling. Young people with mental health issues have much to contribute to society. It is our responsibility to allow that contribution to flourish.
We believe that children and youth benefit from close collaboration and shared responsibility among service providers, families, communities, educators, other professionals and government.
We believe that educational and healthcare supports must be coordinated to support the mental health needs of young people.
We believe that there should be accountability for the responses of societal systems and the people within the systems to the mental health needs of young people.