International Students in Canada Faced Mental Health Issues During Pandemic, Survey Reveals

Canada North America Higher Education News International Studies by Erudera News Mar 16, 2022

mental health

55 percent out of 1,000 international students worldwide were at risk of depression, while 50 percent were at risk of an anxiety disorder amid the COVUD-19 pandemic, according to a survey conducted by researchers at Carlton University and published on The Conversation.

The survey showed that students mainly faced academic and financial stress. Some 80 percent said that they have been “concerned” or “very concerned” whether they will be able to pay for education, reports.

Some of the difficulties that student participants mentioned to have experienced while in isolation were related to online educational resources, culture shock, language barriers, distance from family, as well as difficulties in accessing community and campus supports. Among other things, students said that they have experienced loneliness, panic attacks, mental exhaustion as well as social isolation.

Respondents have also highlighted the sharp increase in tuition, low quality of education, student services, and access to campus amenities.

The study involved students from 84 countries. 46 percent of those participating in the survey came from India and seven percent from China. Other students were from the following countries:

  • the Philippines – 3.7 percent
  • the United States – 3.4 percent
  • Colombia – 3.3 percent
  • Nigeria – 3.3 percent
  • Iran – 2.4 percent

Another survey on students’ mental health conducted by Chegg, an American education technology company, revealed that the pandemic had affected the mental health of 56 percent of undergraduate students.

Of 6,839 undergraduate students from 21 countries worldwide aged 18–21, 81 percent said that they had experienced increased stress and anxiety, and 17 percent have sought support for mental health issues.

Stress and anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have also increased the number of death cases by suicide among international students in Canada, a 2020 report from the nonprofit organization One Voice Canada has revealed.

Suicide Deaths Among International Students in Canada Increased During 2020 Due to Pandemic, Report Says

“International student suicides have become a disturbing trend in Canada.  This mirrors the international suicide problem for the last decade in Australia.  The economic impact of COVID-19 seems to have only exacerbated these problems,” the study noted.

In 2020, an international student at Douglas College, 21-year-old Amrinder Singh, died by suicide after experiencing mental health issues and not receiving any support.

According to Statistics Canada, the number of international students in Canada has increased from 142,170 in fall 2010 to 338,782 in fall 2019. Since 2017, the majority of students in the country came from India.

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