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Majority of kids stressed out, TDSB report says

TORONTO – Toronto students worry about their future or are nervous or anxious at least some of the time, according to a new report by the Toronto District School Board.

The report released Tuesday is the result of a survey of 103,000 students from Grades 7 to 12.

The findings have prompted the board to commit to a mental health strategy for its nearly schools.

According to the survey, 73 per cent of high school students and nearly 60 per cent of students in Grades 7 and 8 are worried about their future.

Meanwhile, 66 per cent of high school students and 40 per cent of students in Grades 7 and 8 said they were under a lot of stress often or sometimes.

One in three high school students said they feel like crying.

Support services manager Dave Johnston said this is not simply teenage angst.

“I think the census reflects that we have some students who are very much impacted and others that carry around something every day that maybe we have to help them learn how to deal with.”

“We don’t want anybody to suffer in silence alone.”

Nearly 90 per cent of the student population took part in the survey.

Maria Yau, research co-ordinator at the board said the results should not be considered unique to Toronto.

“Personally, I won’t see it just as TDSB students. I think this is reflecting what youth in our urban centres are feeling.”

Director Donna Quan said the results will be used to drive programming.

“It pinpoints the areas of need for our students,” she said. “Resource allocation, program planning, intervention and the voices of students is key.”

The results will also help to develop a mental health strategy it that the board hopes to have in place by September.

This was the first time the board surveyed its students on mental health issues.