KPU survey finds most students with mental health needs don’t make use of university resources

Posted on June 8th, 2017

A Kwantlen Polytechnic University student has concluded a study that determines how, why, and to what degree students in need have accessed KPU’s on-campus mental health services.

Under the supervision of Professor Jocelyn Lymburner, psychology student Raman Dhaliwal concluded a needs assessment study of KPU’s student population to map barriers to accessing mental health services on campus. In particular, Dhaliwal wanted to explore why “students did not access services when they showed a need for it.”

Dhaliwal, who analyzed data from 263 KPU students, concluded that over 85 per cent of students reported experiencing feelings of hopelessness, exhaustion, sadness, depression, and/or being overwhelmed. He surveyed students online and in person by asking them five questions related to both the prevalence of mental wellness issues as well as access to university services, which include personal counseling, peer support, services for students with disabilities, and the prayer and meditation rooms.

“53 per cent of students reported experiencing mental health issues that significantly affected their relationships or personal lives,” says Dhaliwal, who also found that nearly the same percentage of students reported that their mental health issues had significantly affected their academic life.

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