APSHANCHA 2016 Press Release

ALBERTA SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS HEALTH NEEDS FOR POST-SECONDARY STUDENTS ACROSS THE PROVINCE

Alberta — It’s crunch time for Alberta university students as they begin to complete final projects and exams, and newly released survey data helps understand health issues on post-secondary campuses. Today, the Alberta Post-Secondary Health Association released the results of the National College Health Assessment (NCHA) survey (made available at http://healthycampusalberta.ca/ncha/), which is the largest dataset on Alberta post-secondary student health behaviours.

The survey includes information on a variety of health topics including physical activity, nutrition, alcohol use, and more. One of the key findings relates to mental health as the survey found that 78.6% of post-secondary students report they would consider seeking professional help from a mental health expert if they experienced a serious personal problem. That is a nearly four per cent increase compared to the last time the survey was completed in 2013.

Students also reported the highest factors which negatively impact their academic performance:

  • Stress (40.4%)
  • Anxiety (31.4%)
  • Sleep difficulties (28.3%)

Of particular concern is the finding that 13.1% of students who completed the survey report seriously considering suicide within the last 12 months.