Student-led mental health initiatives shifting how schools provide supports

From the Montreal Gazette

As Canadian universities and colleges face increasing pressure to provide better mental-health services on campus, students are looking to give schools fresh ideas on how to tackle the issue.

That’s how 24-year-old Ryan Golt became involved with working alongside Montreal’s McGill University to support students. But before he got there, he faced his own mental-health crisis.

After his first year of undergraduate studies, Golt says he began to feel lonely, isolated and irritable. The psychology student started to have issues with his interpersonal relationships, and ultimately, he says he couldn’t function.

“Eventually, it just became too much and the negative emotions started to overcome me,” said Golt.

That was in 2014, when he experienced his first bout of depression. It’s a mental illness that impacts about 14 per cent of students at McGill, and close to 20 per cent of students nation wide, according to recent data from the National College Health Assessment, a survey that presents the health data of students so schools know where to target their services.

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