When Poverty and Mental Health Go Together: A Nova Scottish Story

Today, she is in her first year of early childhood education at Nova Scotia Community College, which she can thank for a government grant program. He received a monthly welfare check for $ 600.

He is optimistic now, but the road has been tough.

I grew up with four younger siblings and my parents [qui sont tous deux incapables de travailler] And some animals. We all lived in a three bedroom house. It was pretty tight. A

A quote from Haley Strickland

According to statistics, one in three Nova Scotia live below the poverty line, compared to one in four in the Glasgow Bay area.

Harassment and depression

As a child, Haley Strickland wanted to do gymnastics and dance, but her family could not afford it. He tried school sports, but was not picked for any team because he was not popular, he noted. And he had no money.

The young woman believes that her friends avoid telling her to go out because they know she can’t afford to go.

But that wasn’t the worst.

When bullying started, it really bothered me. Because it wasn’t my fault. And it wasn’t really my parents’ fault. Such situations have kept us going. A

A quote from Haley Strickland

There [eu] There was another reason why I was harassed. But I think that’s the main reason, because I wasn’t popular and I didn’t have the money. I fall into a depression for this reason.

He remembers another student pushing him against the wall, insulting him and telling him to commit suicide.

She stopped going to school and eventually had to be admitted to 8th grade.

I went through a difficult situation at home He said. At school it was not going well for me. I felt like I had nowhere to go for peace. My mental health was deteriorating. I didn’t have the money to get help anyway. So it was really hard.

At age 18, he began abusing alcohol.

The link between poverty and mental health

The link between child poverty and physical and mental health outcomes has been established, said Leslie Frank, a professor of sociology at the University of Acadia and author of the 2021 report Card on Child Poverty in Nova Scotia.

One in four children in Nova Scotia live in poverty.

Photo: Tom Ayers / CBC

There is a link between poverty and food insecurity in children and adults, such as mental health, increased rates of depression, and perceptions of suicide among children and adolescents – all of which are the result of poor nutrition. Leslie Frank mentions.

There is evidence of a link between poor educational outcomes, high school dropout rates, rising crime rates and hospital admissions, he said.

It affects your mental health, social being and self esteem. It affects the whole person. It is a heavy, heavy burden to carry Chester Borden is the general manager of BGC Cape Breton, a youth club.

A skill Ridiculous In Nova Scotia

Change has been slow to come. Nova Scotia has the worst performance of any province in reducing child poverty since the 1989 level, down only 0.1% in 30 years.

That’s ridiculous. We as a society should be ashamed. A

A quote from Chester Borden, BGC Cape Breton General Manager

He wants the government to invest more in resistance, especially by supporting youth clubs like his

Haley Strickland’s achievement Undercurrent Youth Center Off Glass Bay credits him for providing a safe and positive environment that has helped him overcome some of his challenges.

A key part of the solution is to get to the root of the problem, says Chester Borden.

That means paying the families living wages, and Leslie Frank agrees.

Most importantly, the province needs a poverty alleviation plan. And it needs to legislate, so when governments change plans, it doesn’t get stuck. He asked.

Five year plan

In its 2021 mandate letter to Community Services Minister Carla McFarlane, Premier Tim Houston called for a five-year plan to reduce child poverty in Nova Scotia.

Ms MacFarlane says The fact that Nova Scotia children are living in poverty is deeply worrying. I believe this is one of the most serious problems in our province.

Meanwhile, Haley Strickland wants to see more mental health support for young people like her.

The Provincial Mental Health and Addiction Helpline is available 24/7 toll-free at 1-888-429-8167. In addition, free mental health and addiction tools are available online. (New window)

However, the current average waiting time for a first appointment with a mental health physician for children and adolescents is 112 days, compared to 53 days in rural Cape Breton, in the Glace Bay area.

Haley Strickland hopes that by sharing her experience, she will create empathy for other young people living in poverty.

According to a CBC report

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