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ZENSTUDIES : Making a healthy transition to higher education

Mental health in college-level education: providing teachers and mental health care professionals with tools to reduce dropout rates following the transition to college 





Hello! You are on the home page of the WEB component of the Zenstudies Project. This complementary component can help you identify anxiety or depressive symptoms you may be experiencing in relation to the challenges of the secondary school to college transition.


The Zenstudies project comprises three modules: a universal prevention module, a selective-targeted prevention module and an indicated-targeted prevention module. Newsletters and publications are also available. Click on the “publications” tab of this tab to access them.


You might be consulting this website following your participation in your CEGEP’s intervention to prevent school dropout. Dropout is often linked to the transition from secondary school to college and to mental health issues. This presentation was given by your teacher. It tested your knowledge about anxiety and depression, provided you with indicators of your transition to adulthood and the degree of precision of your professional aspirations. The intervention also presented strategies for various life situations such as time management and preparation for an oral presentation. This was the universal prevention module, aimed at all students. A targeted prevention module was also offered through ten group meetings held outside of class hours or two workshops were given by the CEGEP’s support and learning services. These meetings or workshops lasted about one hour and a half.


The goals of the Zenstudies project are to facilitate the transition from secondary school to college and to reduce the risk of students developing depression and anxiety symptoms. Zenstudies also aims to promote school perseverance. The team behind the Zenstudies project consists of Professor Diane Marcotte and her collaborators Carole Viel, Simon Marcil, Marie-Laurence Paré and Cynthia Lamarre.





Zenstudies uses the cognitive-behavioural approach, which is also known as "cognitive-behavioural therapy” (CBT). CBT considers that people’s behaviours and feelings are often influenced by the way they think. For example, a student may become very nervous at the thought of giving an oral presentation. According to CBT, it’s not the presentation itself that causes anxiety but the way the student perceives this situation ("I'm afraid I'll look ridiculous if I make a mistake in my oral presentation"). Therefore, cognitive-behavioural techniques target problematic behaviours by addressing people’s way of thinking and acting as well as their relationship with their thoughts. 



The content provided by this Zenstudies WEB module is divided into 3 sections:


1. Information - Transition: information about the challenges associated with the transition to college and the transition to adulthood.


2. Information - Mental Health: summary information about stress, anxiety and depression. Self-assessment tools are also provided.


3. Information - Resources and Strategies: effective intervention programs and strategies as well as different types of professionals working in a psychosocial setting. Hyperlinks to additional resources are also provided.


In the first two sections, self-assessment tools will provide you with an overview of your orientation/career choice profile. In these sections, you will also learn about signs of anxiety and symptoms you may be experiencing.


The third section provides hyperlinks and personal management tools to help you navigate the challenges associated with emotional adjustment and academic success.


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