Debt can leave students at risk for depression, seminar told

Students who get into financial trouble run the risk of high stress and even depression, a seminar on student finances heard Nov. 19.

Wayne Coristine, stakeholder relations co-ordinator for Money Mentors, told the seminar, “It is important to consider the connection between students financial safety and their complete wellness.”

Given students low levels of financial literacy when beginning college, they often make poor decisions resulting in vulnerability to financial stress, Coristine told the seminar, which was held in the Stan Grad Centre.

Past research has suggested a strong tie between students level of financial stress and their overall wellness.

“Student spending habits, and consequent use of debt, are essential issues for colleges and universities,” said Coristine.

However, college students reporting depression often attribute their depression to financial worries.

The session offered students advice on dealing with growing debt levels at a time when they have less flexibility in the types of jobs they are able to accept.

The event included booths from SAITSA, Money Mentors and Sunlife Financial that made the event interesting and fun for students.

Students self-assurance about their finances has been found to be negatively associated with their daily needs in general.

Students often have greater amounts of credit than is appropriate to their levels of income, which in turn, makes them vulnerable to financial pressures.

When students overspend, typically with credit cards, and are unable to repay their debts in a timely manner, their stress levels soar.

“Unrestricted spending has a direct impact on student resources,” said Tegan Cochrane, president of the SAITSA council.

Decreased spending will result in increased resources available to complete degree requirements, she said.

It is important to consider the connection between students financial safety and their complete wellness. – Wayne Coristine

Carlos Adrian, fourth-year business management student said, “Due to the expensive cost of living and spending time with friends, I sometimes lose [track] of how much I spend every month.”

Check the SAIT webpage for more information on finances.

About Nabila Ruhi 5 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Nabila Ruhi worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2013-2014 academic year.