More Alberta students seek help for mental health issues
Posted: Jan 17, 2013 8:49 PM MT
Last Updated: Jan 18, 2013 10:50 AM MT
The number of university students seeking help for mental health issues in Alberta is on the rise.
Experts say that's due in part to all the pressures students are facing.
Meg Martin was diagnosed with panic disorder when she was in her third year of studies at the University of Calgary.
At the time she was working on the student's union.
"So I would have to close my office door and cry between meetings and then I would open up my door and have meetings," Martin said. "I lost 30 pounds within two months…couldn't sleep, couldn't eat."
More students are looking for help for problems such as anxiety, depression and addictions, and severe psychiatric disorders account for 5.6 times more the appointments than they did in 2005.
Debbie Bruckner, director of the Wellness Centre at the U of C, says there are a lot more people with mental health issues than the numbers show.
"Less than 10 per cent of students who need help for mental health issues ever talk to a professional, so even the 10 per cent that we're seeing is just the tip of the iceberg,” Bruckner explained. “So we want to increase our breadth."
On Wednesday, the province announced $3 million for the U of C and two other universities.
Some of it will be used to set up a triage program at the U of C health clinic so students needing mental health support will get it immediately.
The university also plans to hire more psychologists and train faculty members on mental health issues.
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