‘You start to think you're getting crazy or something.’
‘It's really tough for me to seek help.’
‘I feel like I'm bothering them when I tell them.’
‘I don't feel that I'm in Canada. I feel that I'm in a jail.’
‘Most of the time I'll just say I'm okay.’
There is a crisis on this campus. Hector knows about it. So does Garrett. So do Rebecca and Shrutika and Alexa.
They are five of the potentially thousands of Niagara College students whose lives are affected by mental health issues. This is no anomaly. Statistics suggest there are more than 400,000 post-secondary students across Canada struggling with mental health disorders.
In your classrooms, on the bus to school in the morning, in the hallways of your campus, you are surrounded by people touched by this crisis.
Two months ago, Niagara News got the results of a 2016 mental health survey involving 25,000 Ontario college and university students. The findings stunned us.
We reached out to students, mental health professionals, professors and politicians to paint a clearer picture of the pervasiveness and impact of the mental health crisis sweeping Canada’s campuses.
This is the story of those who feel lonely in a crowd and those who mask inner turmoil with a smiling face. This is the story of your family, your friends, your classmates and those you love.