Half of Canadians report worsening mental health: survey

With the increase in job losses, illnesses, uncertainty and self-isolation, how is the coronavirus survey affecting Canadians’ emotional and psychological well-being?

Half of Canadians reported a worsening of their mental health with 10 per cent saying it has worsened a lot, according to a new survey by the Angus Reid Institute.

When asked to describe how they’ve been primarily feeling in recent weeks, survey respondents were most likely to say they’re worried, (44 per cent), anxious (41 per cent) and bored (30 per cent), although one third (34 per cent) also said they’re grateful.

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The combination of deteriorating mental health and ongoing financial troubles at the household level creates a portrait of how the nation is faring through the crisis, noted Angus Reid, grouping Canadians into four main categories as part its report: those who are managing well mentally and financially; those who are mentally struggling; those who are financially struggling; and those who are hardest hit, feeling the effects of both factors worse than anyone else.

The survey also found at least one in five Canadians in each region fell into the hardest hit category. Alberta has the highest number (32 per cent), while Quebec the lowest (20 per cent).

A quarter (24 per cent) of those hardest hit said their relationships at home have suffered since the coronavirus outbreak began, compared to just six per cent of those in the managing-well group.

Regardless of where they place on the coronavirus impact index, three-quarters of Canadians in each group agreed it’s too soon to begin lifting restrictions on businesses and public gatherings in their province.

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