4 out of 5 people will know a person living with a mental health problem in their lifetime
According to demographic and socio-economic data from the Secrétariat à la Jeunesse, in 2012, there were 1,523,816 people aged 15-29 across Quebec, representing 18.9% of the total population. Of this number, 475,439 were between 15 and 19 years of age, 525,411 were between 20 and 24 years of age and 522,966 were between 25 and 29 years of age.
The mental health of 15- to 30-year-olds has been steadily declining for just over a decade, and more than 25% of the population, particularly young adults and adolescents, is experiencing increased mental health problems as a result of the pandemic.
Among those 25 years of age and younger, anxiety and depression symptoms have increased by about 50% over pre-Covid-19 levels. Over the past 10 years, the prevalence of mental illness has also doubled among young people under the age of 20 (Mental Health Action Plan 2015-2020).
Between 12% and 37% of young people are estimated to live with a parent with mental illness (Van Loon et al., 2015), which represents approximately 144,000 to 444,000 young people in Quebec.
It is our collective responsibility to better equip these future adults to accompany a parent, partner, friend, colleague, etc. who is living with a mental health problem. This will contribute to creating a society that is more open about mental health, an issue often still misunderstood, and will allow young people to maintain their balance despite the challenges that await.