New Saturday: W5

W5, CTV – season premiere
W5 kicks off the new season with an investigation into the rising suicide rate among stressed-out college and university students, which experts say is a problem that is approaching epidemic proportions on campuses across Canada. With frosh week and back-to-school excitement behind them, students are now into the school year facing pressure to get good grades, pay for an expensive education, and perhaps living away from family for the first time. In an important story for parents and families everywhere, W5 reporter Tom Kennedy delves into the darker side of university life with an in-depth examination of student suicide, the #1 health risk and #1 health-related cause of death for young people.

Many students feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of hard work and pressure to succeed. In a national study published earlier this year, nearly 90% of respondents claimed university life was sometimes overwhelming. More striking: nearly one in 10 admit they had seriously considered ending their own lives. W5 explores why many young adults are unable to cope with the stresses of post-secondary education, and the stigma that often prevents young people with mental health issues from seeking the help they desperately need.

W5 explores the tragic story of Jack Windeler, a Queen’s University student who took his life in 2010. Remembered as a bright, quick-witted, and athletic young man with no history of mental illness, he left his parents facing indescribable grief and utter confusion. His death prompted the Jack Project, an awareness program started by his father, Eric, aimed at dispelling the taboo of mental illness among young people. Windeler’s story is one of many that have brought attention to an increasingly common, and tragic, issue.