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Trends in population characteristics associated with mental health service use among youth and emerging adults in Canada from 2011 to 2016

  • Quantitative Research
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Canadian Journal of Public Health Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Objectives

Despite the high prevalence of mental disorders among youth (age 12 to 17) and emerging adults (age 18 to 24), few receive mental health (MH) services. Using a cross-sectional study design, we examined population characteristics associated with MH service use in this age group from 2011 to 2016.

Methods

Data were from six cycles of the Canadian Community Health Survey (2011–2016). Population characteristics associated with service use were analyzed using logistic regression models for each year. Changes in odds ratios over time were used to examine trends.

Results

Presence of a mood or anxiety disorder had the largest magnitude of association on MH service use in every year. Trends suggested an increased association size between self-rated MH status and service use; lower self-rated MH was associated with a 62% increase in odds of service use in 2011 and an 83% increase in 2016. Being female was associated with increased odds of MH service use (range: 59–107%). Compared with white respondents, individuals who were East and Southeast Asian or South Asian had decreased odds of MH service use. While the association size varied for South Asians, there was a trend toward decreasing likelihood of accessing care (55% decreased odds in 2011, 74% in 2016) for East and Southeast Asians.

Conclusion

Trends suggest changes in population characteristics associated with access to MH care (e.g., self-rated MH status) as well as persistent inequity in MH service use in Canada for males and individuals from Asian ethnic groups.

Résumé

Objectifs

Les jeunes (12 à 17 ans) et les adultes émergents (18 à 24 ans) sont peu nombreux à recevoir des services de santé mentale (SSM) malgré la prévalence élevée des troubles mentaux dans ces deux groupes d’âge. À l’aide d’une étude transversale, nous avons examiné les caractéristiques démographiques associées à l’utilisation des SSM dans ces groupes d’âge entre 2011 et 2016.

Méthode

Les données provenaient des six cycles de l’Enquête sur la santé dans les collectivités canadiennes (2011–2016). Les caractéristiques démographiques associées à l’utilisation des services ont été analysées à l’aide de modèles de régression logistique pour chaque année étudiée. Les changements dans les rapports de cotes au fil du temps ont servi à analyser les tendances.

Résultats

Pour chaque année, c’était la présence d’un trouble de l’humeur ou d’un trouble anxieux qui était la plus largement associée à l’utilisation des SSM. Les tendances ont indiqué une association accrue entre l’état de santé mentale autoévalué et l’utilisation des services; une moins bonne santé mentale autoévaluée était associée à une hausse de 62 % de la probabilité d’utilisation des services en 2011 et à une hausse de 83 % en 2016. Le sexe féminin était associé à une probabilité accrue d’utilisation des SSM (intervalle : 59–107 %). Comparativement aux répondants blancs, les personnes originaires de l’Asie de l’Est, du Sud-Est ou du Sud présentaient une probabilité réduite d’utilisation des SSM. Malgré la variabilité de l’ampleur de l’association chez les Asiatiques du Sud, nous avons observé une tendance à la baisse dans la probabilité d’avoir accédé aux soins (probabilité réduite de 55 % en 2011 et de 74 % en 2016) chez les Asiatiques de l’Est et du Sud-Est.

Conclusion

Ces tendances indiquent des changements dans les caractéristiques démographiques associées à l’accès aux SSM (p. ex. l’état de santé mentale autoévalué), ainsi qu’une iniquité persistante dans l’utilisation des SSM au Canada chez les hommes et les personnes appartenant aux groupes ethniques asiatiques.

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Acknowledgements

We thank everyone who worked on the creation and data collection of the Canadian Community Health Survey, which was supported by Statistics Canada. The analysis was conducted at the University of Western Ontario Research Data Centre which is part of the Canadian Research Data Centre Network. The statements expressed in this study are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Statistics Canada. Parts of this manuscript were included in a thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree in Master of Science.

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Contributions

All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation and data analysis were performed by TS. The first draft of the manuscript was written by TS. GJR provided feedback and helped shape the analysis and manuscript. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Thipiga Sivayoganathan.

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Ethics approval and data access

Ethics approval from a research ethics board was not necessary for this study. Data from this study are held securely at the Canadian Research Data Centre Network (CRDCN). Permission was received from the CRDCN to access these data at The University of Western Ontario Research Data Centre.

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Conflict of interest

The authors declare no potential conflicts of interest concerning the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. Dr. Reid is supported by the Children’s Health Research Institute, London, ON.

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Sivayoganathan, T., Reid, G.J. Trends in population characteristics associated with mental health service use among youth and emerging adults in Canada from 2011 to 2016. Can J Public Health 114, 464–473 (2023). https://doi.org/10.17269/s41997-022-00734-5

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