FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA, January 25, 2017 – Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about mental health, fighting stigma, and better supporting those in need of help. As an issue that affects hundreds of thousands of Canadians and students each year, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) would like to stress the need for government and post-secondary institutions to take more action on mental health.
“Post-secondary students are an especially vulnerable group when it comes to mental health,” says CASA’s Board Chair, John Rix. “The academic pressures, financial constraints, and concerns about the future that post-secondary students deal with are significant and can sometimes aggravate or lead to problems with mental health.”
Health Canada has affirmed that the onset of a great majority of mental health issues occurs during adolescence and young adulthood, around the same time that many Canadians begin post-secondary studies. Not only can mental health concerns negatively impact one’s well-being, but they can also significantly hinder one’s education. In fact, depression was found to be a significant predictor of a lower GPA and a higher probability of dropping out of school.
CASA believes that the development of a cohesive, nation-wide mental health strategy coupled with increased funding devoted to supporting mental health on and off campus would be important steps forward. These measures have the potential to increase access to mental health care for students, thus improving their quality of life and academic success.
CASA is committed to improving the mental health of students and will be releasing a detailed research paper on this subject in the coming months. In the meantime, we are encouraging everyone to join in on the conversation about mental health today with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk, and to continue this discussion into the future.
Established in 1995, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit, national student organization composed of 21 student associations representing 250,000 post-secondary students from coast to coast. CASA advocates for a Canadian post-secondary education system that is accessible, affordable, innovative, and of the highest quality.
Lindsay Boyd, Communications and Public Relations Officer
Phone: 613-236-3457 ext. 224