Link Between Mental Health and Academic Success


  • In post-secondary education, many research studies have shown a correlation between mental health and academic performance. Mental health concerns are known to impair a students’ ability to fully engage with their learning. Additionally, the pressure to achieve the best results to improve one’s chances at finding a job or pursuing further education can lead to or exacerbate mental health issues. In North America, these associations have been supported by data from the National College Health Assessment where both American and Canadian students have identified a general link between mental health and their academic performance.
  • The link between academic performance and mental health can be felt by both educators and students. For students, conversations with their peers about grades, exams, and assignments can trigger stress and leave little room for positive feelings related to their learning. The negative cycle is reinforced when students who struggle with mental health concerns are unable to complete their work as planned. The pressure that students experience during their academics can also impact educators. For example, educators may recognize instances where students lose confidence in their ability to perform tasks or answer questions due to fear of failure, even when it is clear that they have the required knowledge. Some educators may also take on additional responsibilities to support students, which can in turn impact their own mental health.
  • Uncovering the Hidden Curriculum offers a unique opportunity to directly support academic success and indirectly support mental health for post-secondary students. The content and resources on this site cover a broad range of topics that either target development of skills, or are focused on bringing an awareness of crucial topics into the classroom that support a student’s academic and personal development. Regardless of the topics covered, this project recognizes that the learning process is complex and influenced by a set of factors that is unique to each learner. Therefore, this project is ultimately about removing barriers to learning by responding to the connection between mental health and academic success.
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