Ontario’s students, colleges and universities call for action on student mental health

Ontario’s students, colleges and universities gathered at Queen’s Park today to call on the province to take immediate action on the growing problem of student mental health.

Almost 75 per cent of mental health disorders first appear among people aged 18-24 and the number of students with identified mental health disorders has more than doubled over the past five years.

At a breakfast event attended by Ontario cabinet ministers, other MPPs and members of the mental health community, students told of their personal struggles with mental health on college and university campuses, and asked for a comprehensive new approach.

Mental health, they said, is a societal issue and needs a ‘whole-of-community’ approach.

Providing effective support for student mental health is one of the most pressing issues on college and university campuses today, and postsecondary institutions say they cannot meet the challenge alone.

The College Student Alliancethe Ontario Undergraduate Student AllianceColleges Ontario and the Council of Ontario Universities are calling for an integrated strategy by government, health-care providers, community agencies, student associations and postsecondary institutions that includes mandatory curriculum to teach resiliency in young people, an early-warning system, and counselling – all at no cost to students whether they live on or off campus.

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Photos from the event:

In It Together: Taking Action on Student Mental Health