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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. REALITY BITES posted on 03/16/2014 10:01 AM
      @Shawn Of course Mark missed the point. Mark has never read an article he could understand. His mindless posts prove it over and over again.
    3. 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!
    4. Darcy posted on 03/16/2014 03:09 PM
      @DW Couldn't have been as bad as you try to portray things. You stuck with it for 35 years! Professional teacher or professional martyr?
      Cue the violins!
    5. Shawn posted on 03/16/2014 03:31 PM
      @Darcy ...god forbid someone put up with adversity because they are doing something that they are passionate about.

      ...god forbid someone actually care enough about students to stick with teaching in spite of all that negativity.

      ...god forbid someone care about other people.
    6. Mark7 posted on 03/16/2014 03:32 PM
      @DW What the heck does what you mentioned have to do with Mark's reply? Overpaid teachers are just that...OVERPAID.

      Do what any other person working would in the private sector. If you do not like the job or cannot handle the stress, change jobs. It is that simple. But you like all teachers know that you have an overpaid job with unfathomable perks that the rest of us can only dream of.

      In closing...please spare us your tired teachers' rhetoric and not cower behind the fact that you love the money and is why you won't change jobs. Bye
    7. Mark7 posted on 03/16/2014 03:36 PM
      @Shawn Read my reply to DW for the real facts. Darcy is 100% correct.

      I never knew until today that DW is a teacher. This speaks volumes towards his arrogance in many of his posts, like many teachers this days.
    8. Shawn posted on 03/16/2014 04:30 PM
      @Mark7 When was the last time that you were in school? Actually, when was the last time that you even interacted with a teacher outside of an online message board?
      Have you conducted a survey of teachers, such that you are in a position to evaluate the character of all teachers? What was the sample size of this survey? I would love to examine your methodology.

      If you really think that most (or "many", which I will take to mean most, as it wouldn't make a lot of sense for you to use "many" to refer to a minority) teachers are arrogant, this shows two things: First, that you know very little about teachers. Second, that you are in fact the arrogant one.

      Most teachers are teachers because they care about teaching, they care about students, and they care about education. They are teachers because they feel fulfilled when one of their students has an aha moment, and finally understands something that they have been struggling with. They are teachers because when they look over their desk, they see something more than a bunch of poorly-dressed and often bored teenagers; they see beautiful budding minds, and by god they want to nurture those minds to their fullest potential.
      Maybe you had a particularly traumatic schooling (and I'm sorry if that was the case), but it would be best if we don't let certain prejudices we have affect our evaluations.

      All that said, you are still *completely missing the point of the article*.
      I'm going to put stars around some key parts of the article for you:
      "as *more* teens arrive at emergency rooms seeking help"
      "it's *not clear why* so many teens are cutting or burning themselves, but many appear lost and *unable to cope with *anxiety**"
      "he's seeing **twice* as many kids as 10 years ago*"
      "*unprecedented *spike** in emergency room visits for kids in the midst of mental health crises."
      "*2900 children and teens under 18 sought help*, the *highest number* of pediatric emergency mental health visits in the province"
      "*many teens lack coping skills*"

      The entire point of the article is that *children today are facing a mental health crisis*. More children than ever before suffer from mental illness, and there are more children suffering from metal illness than there are people from any other age group.
      This has *absolutely nothing at all* to do with teachers. This has nothing to do with liberalism. This is about *children* and *out society as a whole*.

      Christ, maybe we should bring up teachers, though. It's obvious that something must be wrong if people like you are coming out of the education system and are unable to process a 200 word article.
    9. Shawn posted on 03/16/2014 04:36 PM
      @Mark7 I'm pretty sure that DW can handle the stress. I'm pretty sure of that fact because DW was a teacher for 35 years.
      God. Forbid. A. Person. Actually. Have. A. Job. Because. They. Care. About. The. Work. That. They. Are. Doing. And. Not. Just. Because. It. Provides. Them. With. The. Best. Risk/Reward. Ratio. With. Respect. To. Income.

      But if you really think that teachers are so overpaid, and that teachers have such great perks then why don't you just go become one yourself? Surely you aren't underqualified. And if it's as easy as you say, and the pay and perks are as good as you say, it's highly illogical of you to do anything but become a teacher. You should quit your job right now and enroll in teachers college.
    10. Darcy posted on 03/16/2014 05:54 PM
      @Shawn He/she may be passionate about his/her job with the students. However, in the end, his/her last long paragraph, before the insults started, was all about the paycheque. Seems that's where the real passion is.
    11. Shawn posted on 03/16/2014 06:34 PM
      @Darcy So what? Teachers are an undervalued asset, as is the education system itself.
      While teachers lover their students (etc), they also tend to have families to provide for. It's perfectly reasonable for a person with a job to desire that they receive income for performing their job. It's perfectly reasonable that a person with a job expect that they are paid proportionally to the amount of work that they do. While many people who have no connections at all to the education system (e.g., you and Mark) tend to think that teachers are being paid more than they deserve, those of us who actually know what we are talking about know full well that such is not the case.
      As I said before, if being a teacher is so great, all y'all should go become teachers right now.

      But all of this is irrelevant. The only reason we are talking about teachers is because Mark's reading comprehension demonstrates just how undervalued our education system is.
    12. Darcy posted on 03/16/2014 07:28 PM
      @Shawn I would tend to think that if Mark's reading comprehension is off, as you imply, it's not because of an "undervalued" education system. He's most likely the victim of poor quality teaching.
    13. Shawn posted on 03/16/2014 07:36 PM
      @Darcy It's pretty hard to teach effectively when you have more students than you have books.
      It's pretty hard to teach effectively when your class sizes are getting bigger and bigger, to the point where today you have classes with more students than desks.

      Teachers do their best with what they are provided with. In fact, most teachers go out of their way to help students learn. Unfortunately, there is only so much they can do. And whenever anyone says that we need more money spent on education or on teachers, you guys pounce on them with your rhetoric.
    14. Darcy posted on 03/16/2014 07:50 PM
      @Shawn Yes, yes, yes. You and DW have made it abundantly clear how much you suffer. We get it. Bless you all for your selfless efforts. We feel your pain.
    15. Shawn posted on 03/16/2014 07:54 PM
      @Darcy This is awkward because I'm not a teacher...
    16. Darcy posted on 03/16/2014 08:03 PM
      @Shawn Well that's a point in your favour! Bravo!
      :)
    17. Mark7 posted on 03/17/2014 02:41 AM
      @Shawn So what? Teachers are an undervalued asset, as is the education system itself."

      This is the very cliche of arrogance that infuriates us about teachers. They continually have this attitude of being mightier and more important than most else... the song stays the same
    18. Mark7 posted on 03/17/2014 02:46 AM
      @Shawn "If you really think that most (or "many", which I will take to mean most, as it wouldn't make a lot of sense for you to use "many" to refer to a minority) teachers are arrogant, this shows two things: First, that you know very little about teachers. Second, that you are in fact the arrogant one." From DW's post.

      Funny how he has such a concise memory of the percentages over such a long period of time. Makes one think, hmmm.

      I could have answered your question in two words without having DW prove it for me.

      TEACHERS UNION
    19. Mark7 posted on 03/17/2014 02:48 AM
      @Mark7 Correction, should have put "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%."
    20. Herry posted on 03/17/2014 08:38 AM
      @Mark What a cheap excuse ! Corrupt Liberals ?? Look, mark goof, you have a really short memory. You want mike harris to run the show ? That would be idiot hudak ! Tories are inherently corrupt in this country. Maybe you've of one, called harper ! NDP are socialists so, that makes the Liberals the lesser of the three evils. And if you STILL don't like it, do the country a favour and jump off a building !
  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.
    2. john posted on 03/18/2014 02:43 PM
      @Mark i would rather have communism run this country then the liberals there just scum bags . that need to be put into a cage .
  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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