NAFC executive director speaks at the "Working Together: An expert panel on Canada's Youth Mental Health Crisis"

Youth Mental Health PanelOn November 9, 2021, the National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) executive director Jocelyn Formsma joined BGC Canada and other representations from national organizations at a joint panel event focusing on Canada's youth mental health crisis.

                                                                  Watch the full panel event here!                                                                            


Over the course of the pandemic, nearly half of Canadians say their mental health has worsened. This is particularly acute for children and youth, who have grappled with school and recreation program closures and the resulting social isolation. 70% of kids aged 6 to 18 report that the pandemic has harmed their mental health in at least one area, such as anxiety or attention span. Children and youth suicide attempt admissions have increased by 100% during the pandemic. Calls, texts, and clicks on Kids Help Phone’s online self-directed resources have more than doubled throughout the pandemic.

Given the ongoing child and youth mental health crisis, federal political parties brought forward ambitious mental health care policy plans in their 2021 election platforms.

With a new federal Government formed and a Cabinet named, it is critical for children and youth and mental health organizations to continue advocating for mental health care investments, innovative program delivery, and wrap-around supports for kids and teens, especially those that face multiple barriers to accessing timely and culturally-relevant mental health care.

Join our panel on November 9 to hear from representatives of several national organizations working to improve the mental health of our young people.

Moderator and Panelists:

Moderator: Owen Charters, President and CEO, BGC Canada

  1. Margaret Eaton, National CEO, Canadian Mental Health Association
  2. Katherine Hay, President & CEO, Kids Help Phone
  3. Sydney John-Baptiste, member of BGC Canada’s National Youth Council
  4. Jocelyn W. Formsma, Executive Director, National Association of Friendship Centres
  5. David Willis, Director of Toronto's Lead Agency for Child and Youth Mental Health, Strides Toronto