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