Canadian universities do not have the resources to address mental health issues

January 25, 2017

So we asked what was the state of mental health services in post-secondary schools, and what more needs to be done?

Mental health following secondary health: statistics

According to this

44.4% of students feel so depressed that it was difficult to function

"The problem is that, after a secondary mental illness, the problem is a problem that needs to be addressed," said Dr. John Walker, a clinical psychologist and professor at Manitoba University

"In addition, many students who seek help from mental health care turn to services outside the campus, which is a problem," said Dr. Taab Rashid, a researcher at the University of Toronto Scarborough

"In my experience, most of the students who have received information are not satisfied with their services," he said. "Universities should invest more in their services because if they don't do it, who?"

Lack of knowledge of the effectiveness and accessibility of resources

Although statistics show a clear prevalence of mental illness among university students, only a few studies have been done to provide information on what support measures are available to students and how effective they are

"Not every student, especially with mental health problems, will come and tell you 'no', it doesn't mean for me."Awareness was raised, but not the effectiveness of treatment. "

One of the few studies was a national survey of 168 of the 180 Canadian institutions. A study published in the Canadian journal Psychology in 2016 showed that while 91% of institutions offered some form of student consultations, and 66.4% offered crisis counselling, often the services provided face difficulties in responding to student demand

"We are not evaluating the results of the consultations and psychotherapy offered to students," Rashid said. "Not every student, especially with mental health problems, will come and tell you 'no', it doesn't mean for me."Awareness was raised, but not the effectiveness of treatment. "

Rachid continued to explain another gap in the mental health system, especially for international students, and that many other advisers were not trained

Another study, led by Dr. Walker, concluded that when students sought counselling services for mental health services, the insurance plans they had through their institutions were not sufficient to cover the costs of counselling and treatment

Student experience

Of course, no one feels this advice, like the students themselves. Nathan Woodruff, a student at the University of Carleton University, has requested a stress counselling during his work at Carlton, as well as during his studies at the University of Nipssing

"The problem was that I was very tense, but when I tried to set up a meeting, it was three weeks," he said. "By the time I got into the counselling, I was already under stress."

He added that one of the difficulties in finding support for mental health on campuses is "a culture of competition." Students constantly compete and try not to show weakness

"This is especially true if you are a man," he added, "because men must always be strong to never show weakness in front of anyone."

"I don't know how this happens in other schools, but it's really a long and complicated process to get a meeting in the United States."

His experience with waiting time was voiced by a student from the University of Toronto, who anonymized his experience of treatment for eating disorders and panic disorder

"I don't know how it goes in other schools, but it's really a long and complicated process to get a meeting in U." She said. "If you are in a state of emergency, we will have lots of help-lines and material, and we will be able to cope with this kind of fast service, but if you have long-term conditions, you can take months for treatment."

She added that while access to services is difficult in reality, we have a great location on the T-campus to ensure that the stigma and mental health of the students are ostraced

One way to combat long waiting times for counselling is the system that exists at the University of Waterloo, which offers advice on specific faculty issues

"It's really good because when you go to the consultants, they know very well what pressure you have in your academy, for example, course and such things," said a second university student who spoke on condition of anonymity

What's going on?

Despite the lack of research in mental health services, it is a change in accordance with Michelle Baulch, a registered psychotherapist and a student success assistant at Carleton University, as well as one of the authors of the Carlton Mental Health Framework

Students play an important role in the development of mental health services on campus-often student unions that negotiate and manage health plans accessible to students

"The days are gone when we have just implemented the programme," he said, as a key element in the development of the cardboard structure, was the student contribution, and research is being carried out to ensure that the programs are well received and implemented effectively. Other schools with special structures include the University of Newfoundland, the Royal University and Calgary University, and other schools

Dr. John Walker agrees. Students play an important role in the development of mental health services on campus-often student unions that negotiate and manage health plans accessible to students

"The mental health dialogues on campus have also led to the creation of grassroots organizations that provide a forum for the exchange of information on mental health and initiatives at the provincial level, and ultimately at the national level," said Danielle Stewart Smith, Health Campus Alberta, who is one of those organizations

"Having learned what other campuses do in the provinces, we can make sure that we have not reconstituted the wheel, but we are actually learning from each other's innovations, and that we can adapt to the new contexts," she said

"Similar organisations exist in Ontario and British Columbia, as well as the Ontario Innovation Center for Mental Health and Healthy Minds Healthy Campuses," Stewart-Smith said

"There was such an incredible understanding of the need to get together and work together on this particular dialogue," she added

* Views expressed in respect of the author, and not necessarily for the "Student life" or their partners

Emily is a huge theater junkie and a journalism student at Carlton University. When she does not go to school, she writes, is absorbed in the newspaper, or leaves her horse, her partner, or (ideally), both