Chapter title: Mental Health on Postsecondary Campuses: Reviewing the Status, the Impact, and a Proposal to Help 

Author: Sara Antunes-Alves, Ph.D.

Affiliation: Carlton University, Canada

Author: John Meissner, Ph.D.

Affiliation: Carlton University, Canada

Author: Anamarie Gennara, B.A.

Affiliation: Carlton University, Canada

Author: Sandra Yuen, Ph.D., C.Psych.

Affiliation: University of Toronto, Canada

Author: Andrea Howard, Ph.D.

Affiliation: Carlton University, Canada

Author Biographies:

Sara Antunes-Alves has many years of clinical experience, particularly in university settings. As a clinician, most of her current work involves clinical supervision, assessment, and psychotherapy. Her research over the years has focused on psychopathology and, more recently, the psychotherapy process with the aim of investigating predictors of successful therapy. She is passionate about conducting outcome-based research on the efficacy of mental health programs.

John Meissner is a psychologist at Carleton University working with emerging adults facing complex challenges that affect their capacity to succeed. He co-created the From Intention to Action (FITA) program to improve student’s quality of life and access to mental health services. Over his 40-year career, he has often worked with youth in mental health clinics and school boards. He has also provided therapeutic support on a one-to-basis and conducted psychological and psych-educational assessments, using a strength-based approach with his clients.

As a researcher, Dr. Meissner believes that ongoing program development based on real-life data and evaluation can provide solutions that improve people’s lives. He has recently worked with colleagues on the technical committee of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (CSA Z2003-20) to develop the Canadian national standard to address post-secondary mental health and well-being.

Anamarie Gennara is a recent graduate from Carleton University, with an undergraduate degree in Psychology. Her interest in student mental health burgeoned when she had the opportunity to write her senior thesis exploring the impact of a counselling intervention on the mental health and academic performance of university students. She views the field of mental health service delivery through a more granular lens, seeking to understand the “why” She hopes to pursue research in psychology at the graduate level focused on psychotherapy processes.



Dr. Yuen has over 20 years of experience in post-secondary student mental health as an administrator, manager, program evaluator, and clinical psychologist.  As the Director, Profesional Practice & Quality Assurance, she oversees a team of psychologists and social workers, who are part of a larger interdisciplinary team consisting of primary care and mental health professionals at Health & Wellness, University of Toronto.  Dr. Yuen is actively involved in the program development of clinical services and oversees program evaluation of mental health, primary care, and health promotion.  She is a co-lead of an online consortium focused on best practices in student mental health services (  Her clinical interests are in the provision of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy for depression and anxiety disorders, with particular interests in the interpersonal process, attachment, and metacognitive aspects.  She has a private practice and enjoys teaching and supervising clinical psychology and psychiatry residents.


Andrea Howard is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Carleton University, with a research program focused on promoting well-being and mental health in adolescence and the transition to adulthood. The unique challenges of the transition from high school to university figure prominently in her work. Current projects capture repeated measures across the academic year and examine links between emotion and substance use, changing patterns of depression and anxiety symptoms, challenges faced by youth with ADHD, and the roles of parental support and involvement in a successful transition to university.