When it comes to mental health awareness for teenagers, the government needs to step up big-time. Students in Canada can be almost guaranteed that at least one person in their class will suffer from a mental illness. North America as a whole has done a lot recently in raising mental health awareness due to multiple tragedies that resulted from ignorance of the topic, but they need to target the root of the problem. People often feel the first effects of mental illness in their teenage years, meaning that government should try to stop the illness from becoming a major problem in people's lives while they are still young. The first step would be for more discussion to take place about it in classrooms by having provinces mandate it as an important area to discuss (just like how bullying is). Next, the government needs to ensure that schools have a psychiatrist or mental health professional at their disposal. Though this would be costly, it would pay off in the long run because there would be fewer people suffering from the effects of a mental illness. Government should also seek to set a good example to students by being empathetic and understanding of all individuals with mental illnesses.
Another way the government could help these people would be by having students be monitored for mental health issues. This does not mean that students should be hooked up to some mind-reading device, but they could implement something similar to the dental clinics that often visit schools every year. Even if there was just a mental health clinic for a limited amount of time at each island school, it would go a long way in identifying mental health issues and helping people navigate through them. The most important way to deal with mental health issues is one that government itself cannot do on its own. Other students need to support and respect their classmates who may suffer from a mental health issue because no one is immune, and this is the most effective way to keep the illness from being a detriment to the person suffering from it.