Providing effective support for mental health challenges is one of the most pressing issues facing Ontario students on university and college campuses today. Government, educators, health-care providers and community organizations need to pull together to adopt a comprehensive approach that ensures students have access to support and services that address the spectrum of student mental health needs.
- The number of students on college and university campuses with identified mental health disabilities has more than doubled over the past five years.
- Three-quarter of mental health disorders first appear among people before the age of 25. Universities have also seen an increase in the number of students coping with anxiety, depression and suicide attempts.
- A 2017 survey of on-campus student health service usage determined the second most used billing code by on-campus physicians was directly related to mental health.
- Many students already rely on the many services universities offer, but offering the right mental health supports won’t happen through a campus-centric approach only – universities cannot meet this challenge alone.
- Student mental health is not just a post-secondary concern; it is a societal issue with ripple effects on everything from health care, to the workplace and the economy. This is why it requires a “whole of community” approach that includes government, health-care providers, post-secondary institutions, student associations and community agencies.