Academic and Mental Health Needs of Students on a Canadian Campus


  • Alexandra M. Robinson University of Calgary
  • Theresa M. Jubenville University of Calgary
  • Katerina Renny University of Calgary
  • Sharon L. Cairns University of Calgary


University Student, Mental Health, Barriers to Access


The focus of the current study was to examine student-identified academic and mental health concerns, the prevalence of psychological distress in the student population, student utilization of counselling services, and perceived barriers to accessing counselling services. A convenience sample of students (N = 400) from a large university in western Canada completed a four-page questionnaire that included The General Population – Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation (CORE-GP) and researcher-generated questions. Survey results indicated that 63.1% of students identified having academic concerns, 36.1% of students identified anxiety as a concern, and 31.9% endorsed depressive symptomology as a mental health concern. The criteria for clinical psychological distress were met by 42% of males and 43% of females, yet only a small portion of students identified accessing counselling services for these concerns. Students reported numerous barriers that impeded access to counselling services. Recommendations for targeting student-identified concerns and addressing potential barriers to counselling services are offered.

Author Biographies

Alexandra M. Robinson, University of Calgary

MSc.; Doctoral Student

Vanier Scholar


Theresa M. Jubenville, University of Calgary

MSc; Doctoral Student

Katerina Renny, University of Calgary

 MSc; Psychologist with Alberta Health Services

Sharon L. Cairns, University of Calgary

PhD; Associate Professor in Counselling Psychology 




How to Cite

Robinson, A. M., Jubenville, T. M., Renny, K., & Cairns, S. L. (2016). Academic and Mental Health Needs of Students on a Canadian Campus. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 50(2). Retrieved from



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