Medical staff say services stretched as self-harming teens seek help

Doctors seeing unprecedented spike in cutting patients

Doctors across the country say mental health services are strained as more teens arrive at emergency rooms seeking help for self-inflicted wounds and suicidal thoughts.

Psychiatrist Kathleen Pajer with the IWK Health Centre in Halifax says it's not clear why so many teens are cutting or burning themselves, but many appear lost and unable to cope with anxiety.

Psychiatrist Hazen Gandy with the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa says he's seeing twice as many kids as 10 years ago.

The hospital has reported an unprecedented spike in emergency room visits for kids in the midst of mental health crises.

In the 2012-13 fiscal year, it reported that 2900 children and teens under 18 sought help, the highest number of pediatric emergency mental health visits in the province.

Gandy says kids aged 12 to 17 arrive after slashing their arms, thighs or bellies with everything from razor blades to the sharp edges of pop cans.

He says self-harming is a symptom of deeper issues such as anxiety or depression that stem from complex causes.

Gandy and other doctors across Canada say many teens lack coping skills, and increased demand for help is stretching health services.

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  1. Mark posted on 03/15/2014 09:47 PM
    Of course our medical services are stretched, for teens and everyone else. Our piggy teachers, the piggy teachers unions, and the rest of the public sector has all our cash.

    These libranos have yet, in over 10 years, to do anything right, and they have wasted billions on the way.

    Heck, teens don't vote, so why would the corrupt liberals care about them.
    1. Shawn posted on 03/16/2014 12:49 AM
      @Mark ....I feel like you completely missed the point of the article
    2. DW posted on 03/16/2014 11:13 AM
      @Mark Mark

      Worked as a teacher for nearly 35 years. Tell you what, what advice would you have for me who in his last year dealt with a suicide right in the school (hanging) and 3 attempt suicides. I've seen them all cutters, subway jumpers, bridge jumpers, drugs, alcohol-drug overdoses, carbon monoxide in the family sedan. Tell me how to cut down the kid who hangs themselves. How about the kid who is medicated in my classroom and I don't know it. And of course I don't who has been before the courts and is out on release. Throw into it a student with Aspergers (16 yr old) subject to violent mood swings. Yeah Mark, you are the expert!

      I had kids that lived in cars, kids that lived in shelters, bedhoppers, kids beaten by their parents, boyfriends beating girls, kids and entire school threatened by two adults with sawed off shotguns (yeah tell that one to the Toronto Sun gunlovers), kids with young kids that were sick, kids ripped off by employers for part-time job money (a real problem when they live on their own). Bad neighbourhoods right! Wrong some of the most affluent as well. Yeah how many gangbanger funerals have you gone to? A kid murdered and funeral home parking lot full of cop cars. Yeah Mark you are the expert.

      My recollection of the 90s and much of the early 2000s was a pay packet that was 0%s, several - 3%, -5.5% (two weeks unpaid), lots of 0s, a 1% that Duffer Harris gave us one year all of this in the Toronto housing and rental market. We were the first ones frozen in the seventies, in the eighties when inflation pushed 14% and interest rates topped 21% we were tied down to 5% with numerous clauses that even reduced that. Yep we had lots of wage controls but no one had the guts to nail down price controls. Tell a Toronto homeowner if he should have his asking price frozen for 2 years, huh, what did you say?? Oh yeah my last year was 0%....... If I had stayed this year would have been -1.1%.

      You know nothing, return to the illusions of the Ford Nation and the pathetic world of talk radio where the research amounts to a newspaper clipping written by some zombie at the Toronto Sun who previously pumped out puff pieces for Flare Magazine.

      Yeah Mark, you are the expert!
  2. Herry posted on 03/17/2014 08:31 AM
    If youth want to act like idiots and die, then let them act like idiots and die !
    1. Mark posted on 03/17/2014 01:17 PM
      @Herry You have major issues son. I know you are a boy because no adult uses the word "goof".

      As for the CRIMINAL FIBERALS being "the lesser of three evils"...WHAT??!!

      I would vote for the workers communist party before I ever would vote even once for the Fiberals in my life.

      Do Canada a favour and don't vote. A vote for the Fiberals is a vote for utter stupidity and disdain for the rest of us.
  3. john posted on 03/18/2014 02:37 PM
    it okey we know it is . NOT this is builshit services are not stretched the amount of money unions are getting is . thats why i am in favor of getting rid of unions . what hudock said he would do but chickened out on . it is time to kick unoins out and start redoing this system so it will work again .
  4. frank posted on 03/27/2014 04:08 AM
    Teens deserve competent competent mental health services, not the foolishness offered through OHIP.
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