OTTAWA, ON, September 26, 2022 /CNW/ – The findings of a new study examining student mental health and the accessibility of services on campus validate the mental health challenges facing Canada’s higher education institutions. The new abnormality: student mental health two years after COVID-19 is a report commissioned by the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) in collaboration with the Mental Health Commission Canada (MHCC).
The study, conducted by Abacus Data, concludes that although 1 in 2 students accessed mental health support through their post-secondary institutions, significant barriers to accessing services remained, including waiting times, stigma and confidentiality concerns.
“Concerns about the mental health of students have intensified in the two years since the pandemic began. As students return to in-person learning, supporting students’ mental health should be a top priority,” he said Christian FotangCASA Chairman.
The new abnormality: student mental health two years after COVID-19 found that three-quarters of the students surveyed said their mental health had been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic at 2021 levels. The study also found that:
1 in 3 students indicated that mental health services at post-secondary institutions do not meet their diverse needs;
The top barriers to entry included waiting times, ignorance of accessing services, and quality of service, with 3 out of 4 students not knowing how to access services on campus;
The average student funds almost half of their college education from parental and personal savings, with only 15% of funding coming from student loans and scholarships.
In 2021, the federal government, in letters of mandate to the Minister for Mental Health and Addiction, conveyed promising intentions to introduce a new student mental health fund, targeting areas such as waiting times and increased staffing levels in mental health care. These efforts would greatly improve access to effective and representative mental health services now in 2022.
Ed MantlerSenior Vice President for Programs and Priorities at the Mental Health Commission of CanadaEmphasizes student involvement in such efforts: “As advocates for the world’s first standard of mental health and well-being for post-secondary students, we call for opportunities for students to meaningfully participate in every step of the journey towards healthier campus communities in the Guiding Principles of the standard outlined.”
Established in 1995, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations is a non-partisan, non-profit national student organization made up of 22 student associations across the country. Through our partnership with the Quebec Student Union/Union étudiante du Québec, CASA represents 365,000 post-secondary students Canada.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for change. We are a non-profit organization designed to recommend improvements to our mental health and drug use health systems from coast to coast.
Canadian Alliance of Student Unions
Mackenzy MetcalfeManaging Director
Email: [email protected]
Mental Health Commission of Canada
Amy FogartyManager of Mental Health Promotion
Email: [email protected]
SOURCE Canadian Alliance of Student Associations
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