Karto Signals: Child and Youth Safety and Wellbeing Post-COVID19

HelpSeeker Technologies

In a world where the technological landscape is evolving at an unprecedented pace, the challenges and opportunities facing today's children youth are both complex and urgent. This Karto Signals briefing aims to serve as an introductory resource for social infrastructure decision-makers, offering a focused lens on four emergent signals that are set to impact the future of community wellbeing and safety. 

  1. Canada has one of the highest rates of adolescent vaping in the world, a trend that poses significant public health concerns.
  2. While there was a decline in the use of illicit substances among youth during the pandemic, the consequences have become increasingly deadly.
  3. Social media is a double-edged sword, offering platforms for expression and connection but also serving as arenas for cyberbullying, with distinct experiences based on gender, sexuality, and Indigeneity.
  4. There has been highly concerning surge in eating and feeding disorders among youth, necessitating immediate attention and resources.

This briefing serves as a synthesis of recent research and data, designed to initiate or enrich conversations among stakeholders at all levels—local, provincial, and national—about how these signals could impact community safety and well-being. 

While it focuses on some of the challenges facing youth and offers considerations for social infrastructure decision-makers, it is not intended as a comprehensive review. The information presented should not overshadow the incredible resilience, successes, achievements, and creativity that youth have demonstrated and will continue to demonstrate throughout the pandemic and for years to come.

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