Student Health and Wellness


The goals of a university student – good grades, enough sleep, and a social life; however, you can only chose two (according to a popular meme). In reality, students sacrifice much more than just sleep and a social life in pursuit of good grades.

Health and wellness for students is unique, and despite the attempts of UVic’s community to reduce stress (sometimes with puppies!) and support student health, we really suck at balancing everything.

I don’t think there is any better way to exemplify this than with statistics from the University of Victoria Health Services Annual Report for 2014-2015 and the National College Health Assessment at UVic (2013) data, based on 1454 student responses.

UVic has over 21,000 students. In the study taken in Spring 2013, over the last 12 months:

  • 90% of students felt overwhelmed
  • 88% felt exhausted
  • 68% felt very sad
  • 65% felt very lonely
  • 52% felt hopeless
  • 36% were so depressed it was difficult to function
  • 34% had traumatic or difficult intimate relationships

Feeling blue? At least you are certainly (p<0.000) not alone. I think it is really important to consider how much support there is within UVic’s community, like the student mental health initiative.

It means a lot that other students are going through the same challenges and can relate to each others’ circumstances, goals and dreams. I can’t imagine such tireless pursuit of ‘something’ while dealing with all these feelings if there weren’t so many students in it together.

Other stats I found interesting/surprising/awful…

  • 18% of students self-assessed as eating enough fruits and vegetables
  • 34% felt rested 0-2 days per week
  • 40% reported physical health conditions impacted their academics
  • 76.6% reported drinking alcohol in the last 30 days; 22.4% marijuana, 3% ecstasy, 1.7% cocaine
  • 39% of students had 5 or more drinks in a single sitting within the last two weeks

What are you doing to deal with your mental health?



Cover Photo by Steven S. Creative Commons License on Flikr.

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