• SPOR Collaboration Grant Research Project
    Mar 20, 2018 | University of Toronto

    Improving the role functioning and resiliency of university students experiencing mental health problems using an enhanced supported education intervention

    Principal Investigator: Nalder, Emily J; Robb, Janine C; Kirsh, Bonnie

    Co-Investigators: Farrow, Susan; McKendry, Simon; Yaeck, Amanda; Linkewich, Elizabeth; Polatajko, Helene J; Stier, Jill; Wang, Rosalie H; Yuen, Sandra A

    Abstract: Up to 50% of university students experience mental health problems affecting their ability to manage the everyday activities they need or want to do. For instance, many students describe doing poorly on exams, and being unable to retain information despite hours of studying. These experiences can further exacerbate experiences of anxiety, stress or depression, and place individuals at risk of failing and/or dropping out of university. We are a team of researchers, university students with lived experience of mental illness, health professionals and policy makers, and we propose to examine the feasibility of an enhanced Supported Education intervention, that will help students to be successful in their university and life goals. The intervention sessions will focus on helping students to problem-solve difficulties in their daily life when and where they occur. Participants will learn to use a meta-cognitive strategy (Goal-Plan-Do-Check) to set goals and develop plans for developing skills in areas they perceive are important. We have students involved in our research team and in a steering committee where they can providing guidance to the researchers. This ensures that their lived experiences can shape our research directions, and also service delivery at the University of Toronto through our research. We are collaborating with the University of Toronto Health and Wellness Centre so that the Supported Education intervention can continue to be offered to students if it is proven effective.

    Keywords: MENTAL HEALTH; META-COGNITIVE STRATEGY; OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY; POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION; RESILIENCE