Year: 2023 Source: The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. (2023). 1-4. DOI: SIEC No: 20231752

The transition to university marks a critical period for psychological, sociological, and biological development. This is a time when many young people leave home, take on more responsibility for their lifestyle choices (i.e., substance use, sleep schedule) and time management, make new friends, and learn about themselves in a broader sociocultural context; all whilst adjusting to a new learning environment and striving to meet higher education standards. 1 At the same time, the brain is undergoing accelerated growth and development, and the prefrontal cortex, responsible for making good decisions with a full appreciation of the context and consequences, remains very much a work in progress. 2 Entry to university also coincides with the peak period of risk for the onset of mental disorders and addictions, which if unrecognized and untreated, can lead to persistent and refractory illness, comorbidity, school drop-out, diminished quality of life, and reduced life expectancy 3 Taken together, higher education provides an important window of opportunity to support young people in developing healthy socioemotional coping resources and to identify and treat emergent mental disorders, helping young people to reach their full potential and laying a foundation to support well-being lifelong.