Brandon University Health Studies Research Spotlight
By: Nadine Smith, Candice Waddell, Jan Marie Graham, Danielle de Moissac
There is a growing concern with the increasing rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Manitoba. Provincial sources are linking an increase in Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV to the increased use of intravenous Methamphetamine in the province (Froese, 2018).
A recent study of 330 students at Brandon University (BU) focused on risky behaviours and mental health (de Moissac et al., 2019). For instance, 54% of sexually active BU students reported rarely or never using a condom and 43% reported using withdrawal as a form of contraception. BU students show a life-time use of cocaine and amphetamines that is twice as high as the national average. A greater proportion of BU students consume alcohol as compared to Canadian students, but they drink fewer days of the month (or drink less frequently). Additionally, rates of suicidal thought and attempted suicide among students were almost twice the national average. Conversely, BU students are noted to be more likely to use a designated driver when partying and rated their mental well-being as slightly higher than Canadian counterparts. However, only 5% seek mental health counseling on campus and less than 10% from health professionals in the community.
These findings help us to better understand the prevalence of risky behaviours among university students. BU students may benefit from collaborative harm reduction strategies with Health Authorities and other critical community resources such as the Sexuality Education Resource Centre (SERC).
Brandon University, Assiniboine Community College, Prairie Mountain Health, health-care providers and student representatives are all working together to address the concerns identified within the report.
de Moissac, D., Gueye, N. R., & Rocque, R. (2019). My health, your health, our health: A study on mental health and risk-taking behaviors of young adults on five university campuses in the heart of Canada. Retrieved from https://ustboniface.ca/ddemoissac/page.aspx?pid=6792
Froese, I. (2018). Meth use in Winnipeg causing outbreak of blood borne illnesses, new document says. CBC News. Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/prairie-police-meth-health-disease-1.4941110
Nadine Smith, Candice Waddell and Jan Marie Graham are faculty members at Brandon University. Danielle de Moissac is a Professor at the Université de Saint-Boniface.
For more information on the data obtained in the study please contact: