Almost a fifth of Canadian university students were diagnosed or treated by a professional for anxiety within the past year, according to a national survey.
The National College Health Assessment, organised by the American College Health Association and released by the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services, found that female students were generally more likely to suffer from the mental health condition, with 21 per cent of women and 11 per cent of men reporting that they have been diagnosed with or treated for anxiety.
In addition, a third of students (33 per cent) said that anxiety affected their own academic performance, which was defined as receiving a lower grade on an exam or an important project, receiving a lower grade in the course, not completing or dropping out of a course, or experiencing a significant disruption in thesis, dissertation, research or practical work.
The survey of 43,000 students from more than 41 Canadian institutions also found that more than two-thirds of students (67 per cent) said they felt very lonely at some point in the past year; this figure rises to 70 per cent when only female students are counted and drops to 59 per cent for male students. Meanwhile, 46 per cent of women and 38 per cent of men said that, at some point in the past year, they felt so depressed that it was difficult to function.
More than two-thirds of students who filled in the survey (68 per cent) were female.
A separate survey of 6,504 UK undergraduates, conducted by YouthSight and YouGov and published earlier this month, found that around one in eight students believe they have a mental health condition.