Opioids on campus: What are Canada’s post-secondary institutions doing to keep you safe?

Post-secondary students, many who have moved away from home for the first time, have the potential to face all kinds of hazards and dangers. While young adults have been known to experiment with drugs and alcohol while attending school, recent research reveals they are now at greater risk of hospitalization due to opioid overdoses. This means Canadian post-secondary institutions are now tasked with the balancing-act of educating students, while also doing their best to keep them safe from life-threatening drugs. According to a 2016 report co-authored by the Canadian Institute for Health Information and the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, 13 people were hospitalized due to an opioid overdose on an average day in Canada in 2014-15. The report also found […]

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Ryerson University’s frosh week focuses on mental health

Ryerson University is taking on a new initiative to address the stressful reality freshman students face when making the transition to university by emphasizing the importance of mental health in their orientation program. According to CBC Toronto, the program began Aug. 27, and will continue until Sept. 9, as many first-year students make the move into the university’s bustling downtown campus. Stephan Allen, a health and wellness events assistant with Ryerson’s fall orientation, said they rebooted the idea from a friend’s unfinished attempt the previous year. “Overall, I just thought it was important for a school as diverse as Ryerson to have something where students can feel represented and feel appreciated for the differences that they may have,” Allen said. Among […]

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Demand for youth mental health services on the rise, study finds

Demand for youth mental health services in Canada is on the rise according to a recent investigation by the Toronto Star and the Ryerson School of Journalism. Data collected from youth across the country reveals a dramatic increase in both the number of young people seeking mental health services, and the costs associated with meeting the demand. The study surveyed 15 Canadian colleges and universities, and found that all but one have increased their mental health budgets over the past fivew years, with the average increase being 35 per cent. The investigation also included a major survey of 25,164 Ontario university students by the American College Health Association, which found that between 2013 and 2016, there was a 50 per […]

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More than one million young Canadians victims of cyberbullying and cyberstalking: StatsCan

A recent Statistics Canada (StatsCan) study found about 17 per cent of the Canadian population aged 15-29—roughly 1.1 million Canadians—are victims of cyberbullying and cyberstalking. The study defines cyberbullying as sending negative or threatening emails, posting inappropriate or embarrassing pictures without the person’s consent, or using one’s identity to send embarrassing or threatening information. This differs from cyberstalking, which is identified in the report as sending unwanted messages through the internet, or posting inappropriate photos or information on social media websites. Darcy Hango, a StatsCan researcher who worked on the study, said the number of young people affected by cyberbullying or cyberstalking “suggests that this is a topic of interest among [the Canadian] young adult population.” “It was an important […]

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Treating invisible wounds: Mental health first aid

Mental illness and mental health are fast becoming part of public discourse, especially on university campuses. “Nearly 200,000 people in Canada alone have been certified [in mental health first aid],” said Mike Pietrus, the director of the Mental Health Commission of Canada in Ottawa. So, what is mental health first aid? Mental health first aid (MHFA) was brought to Canada through a project by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, according to Pietrus. MHFA, originally developed in Australia in the early 2000s, is a certification—much like physical first aid—for the public that gives a background in different mental illnesses, and prepares individuals to recognize and respond to mental health crises, Pietrus said. The course is designed to be accessible to […]

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