The Guelph mercury reported today:
Student clinics report more demand for psychological services from everyone on campus — undergrads, postgrads, researchers, teaching assistants, faculty and administrative staff. As well, the Canadian Mental Health Association and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health are all disseminating the same estimate they’ve always used: 10 to 20 per cent of Canadian youth are affected by mental illness. Statistics Canada shows elevated rates of depression and substance abuse in the 15 to 24 age bracket.
The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations is so concerned of the toll of mental illness (and its’ rising) that it has just released a policy paper calling for a national plan to address adolescent mental illness. The alliance, made up of 22 student associations representing 280,000 young people, is urging federal parties to incorporate its proposals into their 2015 election platforms.
Student leaders are asking for four specific commitments:
- They want Canada’s next government to provide more financial support for vulnerable students, including more grants and low-interest loans. They are also asking that graduates dealing with mental health problems be allowed extra time, at no penalty, to pay their loans.
- They want improved mental health treatment on campuses. Too often post-secondary students are referred to psychologists or psychiatrists with long waiting lists or sent to community treatment facilities already at capacity.
- They want reliable mental health information so they don’t have to use anecdotes and perceptions to convince policy-makers that vulnerable students need help.
- And they want an additional $4.5 million a year earmarked for the Mental Health Commission of Canada to ramp up its anti-stigma campaign in schools, colleges and universities.
Source: Guelph Mercury
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