We want our young people to be happy, physically healthy, emotionally resilient, and making positive life choices. Healthy young people are better equipped to learn, develop and build the skills they need to succeed as adults.
Healthy and engaged citizens contribute to their communities, reduce demands on health care and lower the risk of chronic disease and illness. Together, we can enhance the long-term health and wellness of our young people through early identification and support.
What outcomes do we want to see for Ontario youth?
Why is this important?
In order for Ontario's young people to reach their potential, we need to engage and support them to be physically and mentally healthy, emotionally resilient and able to make positive lifestyle choices.
A healthy lifestyle in adolescence enables cognitive, social and physical development and can lead to a healthier adult life. Youth who are emotionally resilient can build positive social skills and relationships. Healthy young people also tend to participate in a wide range of opportunities that support their development.
We can support Ontario youth to be physically healthy by:
- Promoting healthy habits by encouraging regular exercise, providing healthy food choices, and encouraging sufficient sleep.
- Providing positive options by ensuring access to more healthy and nutritious meals in schools.
- Focusing on the social determinants of health by assessing how a youth’s personal living conditions and experiences in society can affect their health.
- Improving access to health care by ensuring youth have access to a regular family physician and can access transportation services to health care services in rural and remote communities.
02. How can we support Ontario youth to be mentally well?
We can support Ontario youth to be mentally well by:
- Supporting youth to develop resilience by teaching youth adaptive emotion regulation strategies.
- Intervening early by addressing mental illness and emotional problems during early childhood and adolescence.
- Reducing stigma by promoting equity, diversity and awareness on mental health issues.
03. How can we help Ontario youth understand and address risk taking?
We can support Ontario youth to understand and address risk taking by:
- Supporting growth and independence by helping youth build on their personal strengths and try new things in safe ways.
- Helping youth to see the consequences of unhealthy risks by discussing the risk and consequences involved with tanning beds, smoking, unsafe sex, drug use, and driving under the influence.