7.7.6 Percentage of First Nations youth with a mental health problem or disorder receiving treatment, by type of problem, Canada, 2015/2016

Anxiety Mood disorder Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Autism Spectrum Disorder*
Type of mental health problem 34.8 33.8 48.1 49.5

*Interpret with caution
The youth survey covered First Nations youth 12-17 years old, and therefore represents a large proportion of the school-aged population living on reserve and in northern First Nations communities.

Source: CICH graphic created using data adapted from the First Nations Information Governance Centre, National Report of the First Nations Regional Health Survey Phase 3: Volume One, (Ottawa: 2018). 200 pages. Published in March 2018.

In 2015/2016, less than half of First Nations youth with a mental health issue or disorder were receiving treatment.

34% of First Nations youth aged 12 to 17 years were receiving treatment.

35% of First Nations youth with anxiety were receiving treatment, while less than half (48%) of youth with attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and 50% of youth with autism spectrum disorder were receiving treatment.

Access to mental health services is impacted by a number of factors. These include limited mental health care providers, healthcare recruitment and retention challenges, limited knowledge about mental health by generalist healthcare practitioners, and limited cultural safety in health care settings. All of these factors can limit care and treatment for Indigenous youth with mental health challenges. It is very important that mental health services for Indigenous youth are culturally appropriate, where healthcare providers understand the underlying cultural experiences and factors that impact mental health – such as the negative effects of colonization, dispossession, culture loss, and social disconnection.