There’s no doubt about it, teens and young adults deal with mounting pressure in every aspect of their lives. In fact, New Brunswick’s rate of youth hospitalization due to mental-health issues is twice the Canadian average.
“The studying, family, friends balance — there’s the deadlines as we see the pressure of always needing to keep up,” explains Tristian Gaudet, president of the University of Moncton Association.
But there may be some relief for students juggling all of the above. Medavie has announced a donation of $360,000 to ACCESS Open Minds New Brunswick.
“One of the doctors mentioned today, the lasting impact throughout their lives is one of the reasons we felt we wanted to invest early into the lives of young people to make sure that they can deal with whatever mental health issues they have,” explains Bernard Lord, the CEO of Medavie.
The money will be used to fund a research and evaluation project led by Dr. Jimmy Bourque. The program is aimed at transforming the way youth between 11-25 access mental-health services in Canada.
“It’s really invaluable to us to be able to expand the project that is demanding in terms of funding but also I think it is really promising in terms of results and outcomes,” said Bourque, the primary investigator with ACCESS Open Minds New Brunswick.
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These funds are in addition to the $1.7 million announced by the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation in March of 2015.
“We want to see concrete results that will help the youth population in better mental health so that’s what we’re striving for,” said Benoit Bourque, New Brunswick’s minister of health.
The association representing students at the university is welcoming the investment in mental health with open arms, however, president Tristian Gaudet is questioning why there is only one psychologist on duty at the university if mental health is such a priority.
“We’re thinking we’re going to need more financial help from maybe the government or whoever else that’s going to need to treat the growing need for mental-health needs on campus.”
The university also runs e-mental health and student clinics to help those struggling with mental-health concerns.