One fifth of Canadian students are battling mental health issues, according to a survey conducted last year.

One fifth of Canadian students are battling mental health issues, according to a survey conducted last year.

Project aims to teach students to better manage mental health


Seven Canadian universities and colleges are participating in a pilot project to teach students how to better understand and manage their mental health. This comes at a time when a fifth of Canadian post-secondary students are feeling depressed and anxious or are dealing with other mental health issues, according to a 2016 survey. Serious crises and thoughts of suicide are increasing on many campuses.

The program aims to build resiliency in students attending college or university.
The program aims to build resiliency in students attending college or university. © Image courtesy University of Calgary.

Reducing stigma, building resiliency

The initiative comes from the of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, national non-profit organization created by the Canadian government in 2007. The pilot project has three components: reducing the stigma around mental health problems, building resiliency among students and the Mental Health Continuum Model. The latter is a model that categorizes mental health on a simple colour scale. Using colours eliminates the need to use formal labels.

A group of staff, student leaders and peer supporters numbering 40 people is currently undergoing training on how to deliver this program called The Inquiring Mind. They will then go back to campus and hold as many workshops as they can. The program is adapted from existing evidence-based programs and is especially designed for the undergraduate experience.

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One comment on “Project aims to teach students to better manage mental health
  1. Well, as mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being it is crucial in our life. And it is really hard for people to manage it. Especially hard for students. All these essays, research papers, math tasks and other projects hit our emotions and often do not help us, but hinder us. That is why it`s extremely important to raise topics like this one. And what is much more important, to help students. There are a lot of trials that can help them in this problem. Thank you for rising this topic. Well done!