Researchers: Dr. Jenn de Lugt and M. Jolene Smith

Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder in the world (Dattani, 2021) and in Canada (Dozois et al., 2021). According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (2016), approximately 75% of Canadians who use mental health services annually do so for mood or anxiety disorders. The authors report that this statistic is likely underestimated. Anxiety rates were already high in Canada prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and were worsening worldwide (Jones-Rincon & Howard, 2018). Preliminary research provides evidence that the Covid-19 pandemic has contributed to an increase in anxiety in general (Nochaiwong et al., 2021), and particularly for women, young people, and those with pre-existing anxiety (Abbott, 2021; Asmundson et al., 2020; Pungapong et al., 2021).

Transitions, by their nature, are challenging, and transitioning from high school to post­secondary institutions is likely daunting for many students, but would be even more so for students with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Young people, in general, entering post­secondary education face many personal, social, and academic challenges; however, for students with anxiety these challenges are often heightened and may have additional complicating dimensions to them. As more and more students are pursuing higher education, considerations and changes are essential to ensure a successful transition. Key to successful transitions is understanding the critical roles and responsibilities of the individual and their support network, secondary schools, the transitioning process itself, and post-secondary institutions.