Addressing University Student Mental Health Challenges

Poor mental health in university students is a significant and growing concern in Durham Region.  Research suggests that 40% of university students experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, and coping difficulty, particularly in their first year of university. Currently, little is known about the origin, progression, and consequences of these mental health issues.

In response, the Canadian Mental Health Association-Durham (CMHA-D) and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) have successfully partnered in an Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) proposal to develop a better understanding of the issues. The project will involve research, which will survey undergraduate students to examine the association between modifiable lifestyle factors such as sleep behaviours, exercise and addiction, as well as socio-demographic variables, on student mental health.

The aim of the project is to advance the understanding of student mental health, how to better manage the issues, position service providers to educate the community regarding mental health issues in youth, and to pursue and provide evidence-based interventions.

Leading the project are Pierre Côté DC, PhD Canada Research Chair in Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation UOIT Faculty of Health Sciences and Paul Secord, Director, Programs and Clinical Services, CMHA Durham.