Making a business case for student mental health

Amin Mawani Associate Professor of Accounting
Amin Mawani

Being a university student can be stressful, and unresolved stress can lead to anxiety in some students.

The Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) recently funded a York University study that will support its students with web-based clinical treatment.  Amin Mawani, Associate Professor of Accounting at Schulich, is undertaking an economic analysis of this web-based clinical treatment to make a business case for investing in students’ mental health.

The intervention program is designed to capture students-at-risk at an early onset of stress, anxiety or depression, thereby making their symptoms easier and less costly to treat.  Students with better mental health are more likely to complete their degree programs successfully, join the labour force and become tax payers in a timely manner, while accessing fewer OHIP services.

“The costs of providing the treatment will not be very difficult to quantify. However, quantifying the economic benefits will require a lot more work,” Professor Mawani says.

If the clinical trial can show that Internet-based intervention works, and that the benefits exceed the costs, the intervention program may be rolled out to other university campuses.