National College Health Assessment (NCHA)

What is NCHA?

The ACHA-National College Health Assessment (NCHA) is a nationally recognized research survey that collects precise data about students’ health habits, behaviors and perceptions. The ACHA-NCHA now provides the largest known comprehensive data set on the health of postsecondary students, providing the higher education field with a vast spectrum of information about student health.

This confidential survey collects data on a wide range of student behavior and perceptions. While other health surveys of postsecondary students cover a single topic area, NCHA collects information on a wide range of health issues including:

  • alcohol, tobacco and drug use;
  • sexual health;
  • weight, nutrition and exercise;
  • mental health; and
  • personal safety and violence.

The NCHA survey was revised and modified in 2008 to include updated lists of things such as contraceptive methods, vaccines and illegal drugs. New items have also been added since then to capture sleep behaviours, self-injury, the use/abuse of prescription drugs and additional mental health issues.

Why is NCHA important?

We recognize that students’ health and well-being can play a significant role in their campus experience and academic success. Having current, relevant data about students’ health can help us to enhance campus-wide health promotion and prevention services which, in turn, will better support their university experience. York University has used NCHA data in the past inform different programs to help support and bolster student mental health and wellness.