top of page

Youth Needs

What did we learn?

In this time, we collected seven different data sets, and surprisingly, a lot of the themes across the data sets provided a similar perspective of priority areas we could focus on.  Across our data, 11 different theme areas of need and gaps in the community were identified. Check out our priority areas to find out more information about what we’re focusing on from these:

Sense of Belonging

There are few welcoming youth spaces to interact and build connections with other youth, and youth need more opportunities to find and build relationships with mentors that can encourage them to reach accomplishments and help them feel comfortable in building social connections. 

Neutral recreational programming

There are few opportunities for youth to participate in recreation and social opportunities, as often extracurricular sites are religious or sports-related, and there is a need for more diverse recreation options that are affordable and easy for youth to access.


There is a need to focus on addressing oppression and increasing inclusion of marginalized youth. Presenting a diverse variety of culturally appropriate services and sharing the impacts of bullying, social media, and mental health, were suggested in our data. 

Youth Futures and Employment

Youth are not consistently exposed to a variety of career and educational paths or how to achieve them, and there is a lack of resources available and low awareness of those supports that do exist.

School-Based Challenges 

Youth identified they had difficulty finding volunteer hours,and they want a curriculum that better incorporates mental health education. Additionally, youth identified a need for increased experiential learning opportunities and education supports outside of school.

Rural Challenges

Youth living in Oxford's rural communities face further barriers, including transportation, lack of work, volunteer and recreational opportunities, limited access to technology, and a general sense of isolation.

Mental Health and Addictions

Youth have faced worsening mental health during the pandemic, stigma preventing them from seeking support, and family, friends, and mentors do not have knowledge on how to support them.

Accessibility of Information

Youth struggle to find clear and organized information on post-secondary options, youth services, resources, work/volunteer opportunities, post-secondary funding, and more.

Youth Inclusion

Youth are rarely consulted or included in processes related to decisions that affect them (e.g. service provision, promotion, funding decisions), and do not have a forum for their feedback and voice to be heard by local leaders.

Financial Issues and Poverty

There are general concerns around the rise in inflation and cost-of-living crisis, as well as the cost of post-secondary education. Living in poverty puts a mental toll on many youth, as food insecurity impacts ability to focus in school, and oftentimes youth living in poverty need to work to support their families which results in decreased time for school, social opportunities, and other interests that can support positive mental health. 

Community Service Delivery

Waitlists for free youth services are quite long and youth often require parental consent to access them, and private services are often not affordable for youth. Additionally, the systems of community services are difficult to navigate and often crisis-focused, whereas youth need quick intervention-long term support. 

bottom of page