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Monday, October 8 • 1:45pm - 2:05pm
Symposium 1, Talk 3. "Disengagement from employment, education and training in a multi-sectoral sample of service-seeking Canadian youth: Mental health and substance use profiles"

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Joanna Henderson1,2, Lisa D. Hawke1,2, Gloria Chaim1,2; 1Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 2University of Toronto, Department of Psychiatry
Background. Youth who are not engaged in employment, education or training (NEET) are vulnerable to a diversity of health, economic and psychosocial challenges. While the NEET metric is widely used internationally, there is a lack of research describing Canadian NEET youth. Objective. This study explored the characteristics of NEET youth in a cross-sectoral sample of service-seeking youth in Canada, across clinical and non-clinical service sectors. Aspects examined included the proportion of NEET youth, their mental health and addictions concerns, gender differences, and other factors distinguishing them from their non-NEET peers. Method. A total of 2,576 youth were assessed using the GAIN-Short Screener and a sociodemographic information form. Results. Among youth seeking services across a diversity of sectors, 26.8% were NEET. NEET youth demonstrated a greater risk of unstable housing situations, more legal system involvement, and more reliance on government financial assistance. They were also more likely to endorse crime/violence problems, substance use problems, and concurrent mental health and substance use concerns than their non-NEET counterparts. Gender-based differences were also observed. Discussion. Since many youth presenting for services across both clinical and non-clinical sectors are NEET, youth-serving agencies within and outside of the mental health and addictions sectors should be prepared to offer a wide range of services to address their diverse needs. Further research should examine interventions and integrated models of care to address the youth’s mental health and addictions needs, their lack of engagement in employment, education and training, and their other diverse areas of need.


Joanna Henderson

University of Toronto

Monday October 8, 2018 1:45pm - 2:05pm EDT
American Ballroom-North

Attendees (7)