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Montreal Families

Website offers tools to help manage anxiety

A recent Quebec survey sheds light on the concerns parents have about teens’ stress and anxiety. Conducted by Maru Public Opinion for the André-Boudreau Foundation, the survey reveals that 65 per cent of parents are concerned by the level of stress and anxiety experienced by their children and 29 per cent say they are ill-equipped to help. And 88 per cent say they need more tools and resources to help support their kids.

The study is part of a campaign called Respire. Laisse pas ton stress avoir le dernier mot! that aims to prevent anxiety among those between 6-17 and ensure that adults are well equipped to help them. It also strives to promote healthy screen habits.

In its third year, the project is a joint effort of the André-Boudreau Foundation in collaboration with the Laurentians’s CISSS. The foundation supports programs that help young people with various addictions

There are a couple of ways that the campaign equips youth, parents, teachers and caregivers with tools to help youth dealing with mental health issues:

• On its tuaslederniermot.com website, educational content and online tools can be downloaded for young people and adults to help them understand stress and anxiety as well as access prevention and intervention tips. The bilingual site has sections for parents, educators, teens and elementary-school aged kids. It is divided into three sections: definitions, tools and resources. Some definitions include anxiety, stress, hyper connectivity, and addiction. Tools come in the form of PDFs that teens can download, such as a list of contacts to turn to when in need, five ways to take care of yourself and parent/teen cell phone contract. The resource section lists telephone help lines, organizations, websites, podcasts, apps, books & games and more.

• Witty TikTok videos on @tuaslederniermot featuring popular content creators (Claudie Mercier, Ari Brewer, Audrey Daigneault, Emy Lalune, Alice Morel-Michaud, Alexis et Mathis St-Laurent) allow to approach the subject in a humorous tone, in a format that appeals to young people.

The vaping craze is another growing phenomenon that concerns the Laurentians Public Health Department. According to data from the Quebec survey on tobacco, alcohol, drugs and gambling among high school students, the proportion of high school students in Quebec who had used vaping products in the 30 days prior to the study has increased significantly between 2013 (4 per cent and 2019 (21 per cent).

“One of the reasons why young people start vaping is to reduce their stress level or anxiety level,” says Dr. Eric Goyer, Laurentians’ Public Health Director. “We must take action to promote positive mental health and raise awareness of this issue among youth through the Respire campaign.”

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