Drawings made by children for the '#ISeeYou' project are displayed in Thunder Bay, Ontario in 2017. The initiative was part of the Stand Up 2017 campaign against child abuse and neglect, a problem that appears to be not going away, according to a report released Tuesday by Children First Canada and the O'Brien Institute for Public Health (Jackie McKay/CBC)

New report shows Canada’s children face ‘alarming’ and deep-rooted problems

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Maybe it’s time to take some of those assessments that rank Canada up near the top among the world’s best countries to live with a giant shaker of salt.

A new report released Tuesday delivers some alarming news about the Canada’s children.

The report was prepared and released by Children First Canada with the O’Brien Institute for Public Health and researchers from the University of Calgary and is based on data from numerous organizations, including Statistics Canada, the Canadian Institute for Health Information, and Health Canada.

It’s not pretty.

Researchers examined the state of Canadian children’s mortality rates, physical and mental health and the social factors that affect health, such as poverty, hunger and abuse.

The new study says all levels of government need to do more to ensure that children benefit from the Canada’s overall wealth and prosperity. (Yuriko Nakao/Reuters)

They found strikingly high rates of suicide, child abuse and struggles with mental health and a high rate of infant mortality.

Whether we’re talking infant mortality or accidents or mental health concerns, all these statistics are deeply disturbing,” says Sara Austin, the lead director and founder of Children First Canada.

“Canada’s ranked the fifth-most prosperous nation in the world, yet when it comes to the well-being of children, we fall far behind. There’s a big disconnect between the well-being of our children and the well-being or our nation.”

Austin cites a UNICEF ranking of 41 OECD countries that places Canada 25th in assessing children’s well-being.

Children First Canada says the report shows little change from a similar one it did two years ago.

Among other facts released in the report:

  • Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for Canadian children and youth between the ages of one and 17 according to 2012 data used in the report. (In 2015, Canada was listed as one of the five countries with the highest teenage suicide rates.)
  • One of three Canadians report suffering some form of child abuse before turning 16.
  • The number of mental health-related hospitalizations among people aged five to 24 has risen 66 per cent over the past 10 years and the number of hospitalizations has risen 55 per cent over the same period.
  • An estimated 10 to 20 per cent of Canadian children–or about 1.2 million–may develop a mental health disorder at some point in their lives and only about 20 per cent get the treatment they need.
  • Canada ranked 30th out of 36 OECD-member countries with a rate of 4.7 deaths of infants under the age of one for every 1,000 live births. (By comparison, Iceland has the lowest infant mortality rate at 0.7 while India has the highest at 37.9 live births.)

“These issues are all interconnected,” says Austin. “They all tie back to lots of related causes around poverty, around abuse, and the systemic underinvestment in the health and well-being of our children.”

Children First Canada recommends three steps to start to attack the problems: an independent national commission on children, a federal children’s budget that would allow the public to track investments in children and federal support for the Canadian Children’s Charter, a document Children First Canada has already drafted following consultations across the country,

With files from CP, CBC, CTV, Global News, Huffington Post

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5 comments on “New report shows Canada’s children face ‘alarming’ and deep-rooted problems
  1. Barbara McLeod says:

    Could you please send this info individually to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and to the Premier of each Canadian province and Territory. It would be great to also send it to every Federal MP, Provincial MPP, and Municipal Mayor in Canada. May God help our Canadian leaders to provide the legislation and the social, medical, legal, education, and financial services and resources to provide for, and to protect, ALL children in Canada. They are our future who need safe and healthy nurturing today to be our leaders of our country tomorrow. Thank you for dissimenating this crucial information. BJ McLeod, Ontario 🇨🇦👨‍👩‍👧🇨🇦

  2. Lee Ann Johnson says:

    How can I access the statistics for First Nation. As a health care worker I have experienced frustration with the system that should protect or advocate for child health and wellbeing.

    Need to educate the providers, being parents, health care workers, social worker, educators, leaders, that child poverty and mental health directly effects the child’s life in the future. A wake-up call for Canada

  3. Rod says:

    Canada’s children face ‘alarming’ and deep-rooted problems
    Is it any wonder? You can blame much of it on the gender confusion movement. When a five year old is told they are not the boy or girl they were born as what do you think that does to a child’s mental health. Until some grown up hits them with the news that because Johnny sometimes plays with girls toys or Becky climbs trees and prefers to play with boys that theres something wrong with them. How does that affect the mind of a little kid? Having to deal with sexualality when they should be just playing like five year olds do not contemplating if they’re sexualality. Of course they’re going to grow up confused mentally unhealthy. You wait this is just the tip of the iceberg. In decades to there will be more adults with mental health problems than there has ever been.

    • Poison Ivy says:

      Shush, ignorant transphobe. Being trans has never harmed me. Being sexually abused by my cisgender, heterosexual older brother as an underage child (but after I knew I was trans) harmed me and caused me complex PTSD. Knowing I’m trans has only given me a sense of self and community. Cisgender people have ruined my life.

  4. Herry says:

    Children NEED nutritious food to survive. Food retailers are doing EVERYTHING possible that customers DON’T get access to healthy, nutritious foods by jacking the prices so high that only the greedy rich have access to. Some food retailer management need to be put in jail for price fixing and corruption. But, considering most politicians and bureaucrats love having their heads stuffed up their axxes, looks like this problem WON’T be fixed anytime soon. If at all !