McCreary Centre Society today released the East Kootenay regional results of the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey. The survey was completed by over 38,000 of the province’s Grade 7–12 students, including all three school districts in East Kootenay.

Results showed that East Kootenay youth remain more physically active than youth across the province, including 24% who participated in extreme sports on a weekly basis, compared to 9% across B.C. Also, local youth were more likely than their peers across the province to have met Canadian physical activity recommendations.

However, mental health and vaping rates provide some cause for concern, as McCreary’s Executive Director Annie Smith explained: “A quarter of East Kootenay youth had seriously considered suicide and almost one in five who needed mental health services did not receive them. This is obviously worrying as were the findings that 29% had vaped with nicotine in the past month.”

Smith went on to say “The local results for East Kootenay also confirm what we see across the province in that youth who have supportive adults in their family, school and community report more positive mental health and are less likely to engage in risky substance use, and that gives us some clear direction as to how we can support young people growing up here.”

Positive local trends included increases in East Kootenay youth reporting feeling connected to their community, having an adult in their community they could turn to for help when they had a problem, and decreases in local youth binge drinking.

A copy of the report, Balance and connection in East Kootenay: The health and well-being of our youth, can be downloaded here: balance_and_connection_eastkootenay

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