Raising awareness and improving student mental health and wellness is an ongoing concern – and not just limited to #BellLetsTalk Day. Most of my career has been focused on working with young adults with mental health concerns. As a result, it is a conversation we have daily at Minute School. Academic, social, family, financial, career, and other life stressors all contribute to the immense pressures students are facing.
The statistics speak for themselves.
Findings from the 2016 Ontario University and College Health Association (OUCHA) report indicate that:
- 65% of students reported experiencing overwhelming anxiety in the previous year
- 46% of students reported feeling so depressed in the previous year that it was difficult to function
- 13% of students had seriously considered suicide in the previous year
Furthermore, students are in the highest-risk age group for experiencing mental health and/or substance use disorders.
Clearly, this is problem. Students need more support. We, like many others, want to find ways to help students succeed.
Where to go for help?
If you are feeling overwhelmed or struggling with your mental health, please reach out for help. Talk to your parent, teacher, professor, school / college counsellor, family doctor, or another mental health professional. Speak with someone you trust and who will support you. If one of your classmates or peers is struggling, please encourage and support them in finding help. If you or someone you know is in crisis or at imminent risk of suicide, please call 911 immediately. Know that you are not alone. There are many people who want to help and supports available to assist in getting through difficult times.
Let’s keep talking about student mental health and wellness.