Advanced Education Fact-sheet: Mental Health

Albertans deserve a government that makes life better. The Government of Alberta is improving things that make a difference in Albertans’ lives like ensuring mental health supports are accessible and available when post-secondary students need them.

Student mental wellbeing is linked to academic achievement, learning, retention and future success.

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

The survey highlighted, over the past 12 months:

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

Mental Health funding

The global amount provided last year was $4.2 million. This included funding to the University of Alberta, Calgary and Lethbridge, Mount Royal University and MacEwan University and the Alberta Students’ Executive Council.

While these funds provided innovative and vital services to students, improvements were necessary to ensure sustainability and equality for students across the province.

Over the next three years, the government has committed $25.8 million, which represents a significant increase in funding to support post-secondary mental health in Alberta.

Advisory Panel on Post- Secondary Mental Health

Advanced Education established an expert advisory panel to develop recommendations for a long-term approach to post-secondary mental health funding and support.

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