Students Highly Stressed: TDSB Survey

The Toronto District School Board recently released the findings of their 2011-12 Student Census (click here to download the survey) and the results suggest that a majority of students may be struggling with anxiety and depression. Believed to be the largest survey of its kind in Canada, the census explored how students feel about their in- and out-of school experiences and their general well-being. Almost 90% of all Toronto students in grades 7 through 12 (103,000 students) participated in the survey.

The study revealed that 63% of grade 7 and 8 students and 72% of those in high school felt nervous or anxious often or all of the time. Fully one-third of Toronto high schoolers reported feeling under a lot of stress and about three-quarters said they felt tired for no reason and struggled to concentrate and make decisions (see the table below). A significant source of their worry was how things might be in the future.


Student Experience Grades 7 – 8 Grades 9 – 12
Tired for no reason



Difficulty concentrating



Difficulty making decisions






Under a lot of stress



% reporting All The Time/Often

These symptoms our teens and tweens are reporting are some of the same symptoms present in depression (follow this link for a complete list from the Canadian Mental Health Association), a debilitating condition that can develop when we feel unable to cope with prolonged stress. The results are upsetting because they suggest that while we’re giving our kids so many opportunities, we’re not teaching them enough about how to manage with the challenges and demands of everyday life.

Cognitive behaviour therapy is an important and effective tool in the fight against depression.
Call Shift Cognitive Therapy for depression help in Oakville.