The demand for counselling and support programs at Laurentian University is at an all-time high.
Every week, more than 65 students are seen by on-campus counsellors, but they often wait two or three weeks for an appointment. The University has added two more support workers to the payroll, but services are still stretched thin.
Marc Trottier, a registered clinician in the counselling and support program's office for nine years, said wait times can become cause for concern.
"If they've been dealing with say a depression since September and [are] not seen till November, it could have a negative impact on their academic performance," he said.
That puts stress on other services.
"Accessibility Services would be one of them," Trottier said. "[Students could also be] talking to their professors, [who would] get them to see their family doctor."
Students need to be pro-active
He said the most commonly treated problems are depression, anxiety and stress.
Trottier added the onus is on students to be pro-active and seek help before any decline in mental well-being effects their academics.
Chad Scanlan may have found the secret to a stress-free student life. The Laurentian University student said he tries "to do as many things other than studying as possible."
"Obviously [I] make time for studying, but [I make time for] stuff like going to the movies or hanging out with … friends or going to the gym," he said.
But not everyone manages to achieve that balance on their own. So when students reach out for help — and they're hit with a 2-week wait period — getting help can seem like an eternity.
Trottier said it is hoped the two new part-time counsellors who have been hired at Laurentian will help with the workload.