Students are not fragile flowers – we must care about their mental health

"One in five Canadians – regardless of age, ethnicity or income level – will experience a significant mental-health condition at some point in their lives. Many more will be touched by mental illness through its effect on family, friends and co-workers."

"Statistics Canada reports suicide as the ninth leading cause of death in Canada, but in the 1-24 age group, 20 per cent of deaths are attributed to suicide."

Many post-secendary institutions are placing mental health as an agenda that needs to be addressed and remediated as soon as possible. For so long, the societal stigma surrounding mental health has been portrayed as a character flaw, or a sign of weakness, but that notion is slowly changing. UBC and U of T have initiated institutional policies and services that will ensure a safe environment for mental health to be not only talked about but treated. These institutions have directly linked the health of the student, whether it be mental or physical, to their academic success and have shown commitment to fight the stigma. In relation, The Canadian Mental Health Associate has launched the campaign #b4stage4 that asks a thought provoking question: what if we waited until stage 4 to treat cancer?