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36% of Canadians struggling with pandemic mental health issues: study

Younger people are more likely to struggle with depression, anxiety, and addictions
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The study found that 23 per cent of Canadians feeling depressed.

As Canadians enter their third year of the pandemic, mental health continues to be greatly affected.

A new study from Angus Reid Institute reports that 36 per cent of surveyed Canadians are struggling with their mental health. Another seven per cent of Canadians said they are “barely getting by” when dealing with their mental health. This number has doubled since October 2020.

Half of Canadians reported feeling “fatigued,” while two in five said they’re frustrated in recent weeks. This comes as Omicron swept through the country, halting holiday plans and any optimism for lockdowns to end. In fact, about half of Canadians said they do not believe 2022 will be the last year of the pandemic.

While many people may be struggling regardless of their age, the study revealed that younger people—18- to 34-years-old—are more likely to report having depression, anxiety, and alcohol abuse than older people. This is particularly true for Canadians in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Atlantic Canada, which had the highest rate in the country: 41 per cent of people said anxiety and depression are a significant problem in their social circle.

Seeking help

Many people in different industries expressed experiencing burnout and exhaustion over the last few years of the pandemic. It’s no wonder that three in 10 Canadians reported at least one person in the household seeing a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist in the last year.

But the pandemic also highlighted the shortcomings of mental health support in Canada. Not everyone has access to affordable mental health services. Some Canadians have resorted to finding help in their close social circle.

About 30 per cent of Canadians said they talk to their friends and family about their mental health often. But when this statistic was broken down based on gender and age, men over 55 rarely had these conversations. It was more likely that women between 18 and 54 participated in having these discussions.

Overall, however, about 30 per cent of people in all regions of the country reported feeling not good or terrible.