The Canadian Mental Health Association found that 20 percent of Canadians will personally experience a mental health issue in their life. Young people aged 15 to 24 are more likely to experience mental health issues than any other age group. A survey conducted in 2016 of 43,000 university and college students, found that 89.5 percent of students felt overwhelmed by all they had to do and 73.5 percent felt very sad. At the same time, students are having a harder time accessing the mental health services they need on campus.
Medication can often be an essential part of mental health treatment; however, the absence of a national pharmacare strategy has left one in ten Canadians unable to fill their expensive prescriptions. Over two million Canadians incur more than $1000 a year in prescription drug costs. In a 2015 survey, 91 percent of respondents supported a national pharmacare program. In addition, mental health services like psychological counselling and psychiatric services are underfunded, understaffed and underrepresented on post-secondary campuses, limiting the types and availability of services for students.