Table of contents

Overview

Student mental well-being is linked to academic achievement, learning, retention and future success.

We’re taking steps to ensure post-secondary institutions are better equipped to promote positive mental health and well-being and provide supports when students need them.

Advisory panel

An expert advisory panel developed recommendations for a long-term approach to post-secondary mental health funding and support.

The panel included post-secondary students, faculty, staff, Alberta Health Services and the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Read the Advisory panel report.

Next steps

Based on the panel’s recommendations, we are working with post-secondary institutions to implement 7 steps to promote and support mental wellness and build more resilient campus communities, so students get the care they need.

These align with our vision of an integrated community-based health care system.

The 7 steps include:

  1. Providing equitable funding to publicly funded post-secondary institutions
    • Consistent, annual funding directly to post-secondary institutions.
    • Support on-campus health promotion, wellbeing programs and training for staff.
  2. Defining roles of post-secondary and public health systems in improving post-secondary student mental health
    • Post-secondary system manages health promotion and early intervention, while the health system will provide clinical care services.
    • Students will benefit from a more coordinated systems that is accessible and easy to navigate.
  3. Supporting Indigenous post-secondary students' mental health
    • Funding First Nations Colleges to provide mental health promotion, prevention and care for their students.
    • Working with publicly funded institutions to ensure they provide culturally affirming mental health supports for Indigenous students.
  4. Integrating on-campus mental health supports with larger regional systems
    • Post-secondary institutions, AHS, primary care, and community providers are coordinating regional services to provide better access and transitions for post-secondary students.
  5. Funding Healthy Campus Alberta Community of Practice
    • Students will benefit from consistent approaches and a strengthened post-secondary mental health system.
  6. Improving access to 24-hour universal supports throughout the province
    • Enhancing 211 referral service and web tools to better serve students and expand access to crisis lines.
    • Access will be available to all students, including distance learning students.
  7. Reviewing student aid policies
    • Advanced Education is reviewing its student financial assistance policies and will consider how to support students experiencing mental health concerns.

National College Health Assessment Survey Results

Ten Alberta post-secondary institutions participated in the National College Health Assessment survey in 2016 to better inform their health and wellness programming.

The survey highlighted, over 12 months in 2015-16:

  • 57.5% of students felt hopeless
  • More than 90% felt overwhelmed
  • 65% felt very lonely
  • More than 42% felt so depressed it was difficult to function
  • Almost 64% felt overwhelming anxiety
  • 13.1% seriously had considered suicide, and 2.1% attempted suicide
  • 18.9% had been diagnosed or treated by a professional for anxiety and 15.4% for depression

Was this page helpful?

All fields are required unless otherwise indicated.

Your submissions are monitored by our web team and are used to help improve the experience on Alberta.ca. If you require a response, please go to our Contact page.

You will not receive a reply. Submissions that include telephone numbers, addresses, or emails will be removed.