University students in B.C. heading back to school face stress, anxiety: study

Heading back to school can be especially stressful for international students, according to a new survey. Global News

A new study by human resources consulting and technology company Morneau Shepell has found that 65 per cent of university and college students in B.C. and across Canada are heading back to school with overwhelming anxiety.

The company’s student support director, Matthew McEvoy, says the stress is particularly acute for international students.

“Just under half of the students who have been reaching out are first-year students, which is no surprise because it’s often the time of the most change for these international students, being away from their homes and their social supports,” he explains.

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LISTEN: McEvoy joined The Exchange with Matt Gurney to discuss the importance of managing student mental health and the pressures to succeed:

McEvoy says there are plenty of resources online.

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“Access mental health and support from someone who understands their culture and speaks their language,” he advises.

“Services are available in multiple languages, where an international student who is experiencing some level of distress would be able to reach out via telephone or chat in their preferred language.”

McEvoy says having the self-awareness to reach out for help can be a real challenge for students and part of the challenge is letting students know what resources are available.

“Recognizing that change in behaviour, you may have have a student that was very social but is now becoming more isolated,” says McEvoy, of what parents and campus advisors can look for when dealing with students, especially first-year students.

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