In this issue

  1. How midterm stress can benefit youth
  2. In the news:
    • Cannabis use in teens interview
    • The difference between stress and anxiety
  3. Indigenous youth mental health
  4. Resources to help youth manage stress

Welcome to another edition of the TeenMentalHealth.org Conversation – a place where we provide information on happenings in the area of youth mental health. Feel free to join the conversation by sharing questions, feedback, photos, or ideas for future editions.

How midterm stress can benefit youth

With midterm season in progress, it’s important for youth, teachers, and caregivers alike to understand and consider the purpose of stress. We’re a society that’s becoming afraid of stress, yet it’s an important and natural state that helps the development of positive physical and mental health.

Instead of looking at all stress as “bad stress” that needs to be avoided, let’s consider why stress exists in the first place and how it can help us build resiliency by adapting to everyday challenges.

In the news

Dr. Stan Kutcher speaks with APTN InFocus host Melissa Ridgen during an Oct. 17 segment on the potential risks of cannabis use in teens. Skip ahead to 42:15 to see Dr. Kutcher’s interview.


Ask a student how he or she feels after a hard test and they may respond that they’re depressed. To Stan Kutcher, that’s unfortunate.

The professor of psychiatry at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and founder of teenmentalhealth.org, believes students need to understand that life is not always a series of daisy chains and rainbows. Instead, there are down times and hard moments — and that isn’t the same as clinical depression. Read more.

Indigenous youth mental health

Teen Mental Health researcher and school mental health lead Dr. Yifeng Wei has received a planning grant from the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR). The application is titled Mental Health and High School Curriculum Guide: Planning for Adapting, Evaluating and Disseminating for Indigenous Youth.

The grant will help build a framework to complete a national scan and guide the development of mental health literacy resources for Indigenous youth. It will also organize a steering committee to begin the project and help prepare applications for further development funding.

It was submitted by Dr. Wei earlier this year, and will start to take shape in the coming months.

Resources to help youth manage stress

Transitions: making the most of your campus experience – for first-year university/college students
Know Before You Go – for high school students transitioning to university/college
Understanding Stress – at teenmentalhealth.org
The benefit of stress during midterms – video of Dr. Kutcher discussing midterm stress
Responding To Stress – video of Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski