In his most recent HuffPost opinion piece, Dr. Rob Whitley, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, offers the timely reminder that a new academic year is both exciting and stressful for many young people. Dr. Whitley shares insights on how individuals and the community-at-large within a student’s network can help promote and support mental health during the upcoming semester.
Around one million young people will shortly be commencing (or recommencing) post-secondary studies at universities and colleges across Canada. This is a time of great hope and excitement for many young people. But for others, post-secondary studies can prove to be a stressful experience, as evidenced by the recent results of the National College Health Assessment Survey (NCHA).
The National College Health Assessment Survey
The NCHA was administered to over 43,000 students at 41 Canadian campuses in 2016, finding high rates of mental disorder. Over 18 per cent of students reported being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, while 15 per cent had been diagnosed with depression. This is likely an underestimate of true prevalence given that the survey only measured formally diagnosed disorders.
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