OTTAWA, October 7, 2020 -- Students in Canada continue to face numerous challenges to their mental well-being amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is excited to see the launch of the National Standard Of Canada For Mental Health And Well-being For Post-secondary Students (the Student Standard). CASA has long advocated for holistic mental wellness services for all post secondary students, and therefore we are hopeful the Student Standard will provide institutions with the framework they need to best support all students. As post-secondary across Canada rapidly shifted to online learning it created a lot of uncertainty for students, while heightening their feelings of stress and anxiety over concerns about health and safety, isolation, finances, and the future.
“The need for diverse support and services to address mental health on campuses continues to increase.” said Bryn de Chastelain, Chair of CASA “We are excited to see the launch of this national standard for post-secondary as a good step in ensuring students have access to the support they need.”
According to our research report, CASA found that over 70% of post-secondary respondents reported they have felt stressed, anxious, or isolated due to the pandemic, 82% reported worry about their futures beyond the pandemic and students are generally reporting more stress about everything from their health, finances, and future. As campus counselling and other mental health services are increasingly overwhelmed, and many encounter wait times and other barriers to access, the Student Standard provides a voluntary framework to help institutions establish policies, programs, and processes to support and promote student mental health. This flexibility allows institutions to incorporate and specialize the Standard to their own needs and circumstances.
“In the wake of COVID-19, we are hearing from students from coast to coast that they are worried about their mental health.” said Kalin McCluskey, Executive Director of CASA “We are excited that the Student Standard is ready and has launched in this unprecedented time, when students need it most.”
The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a national voice for Canada’s post-secondary students. Established in 1995, CASA is a non-partisan, not-for-profit student organization composed of student associations from across Canada. We represent 23 student associations, and in a partnership with the Quebec Student Union (QSU) represent 365,000 students collectively to the federal government of Canada. CASA advocates for a post-secondary education system in Canada that is accessible, affordable, innovative and of the highest quality.
Akanksha Bhatnagar, Communications and Public Relations Officer
Canadian Alliance of Student Associations