'Talking with friends or family can be very therapeutic but sometimes more help may be needed'
More than half of Canadians (56 per cent) say that COVID-19 is negatively hurting their mental health, and just 42 per cent are currently seeking treatment orf support, according to a new survey from Sun Life.
Among those actively seeking help, 64 per cent are reaching out to friends and family and 62 per cent are staying busy while at home. Forty per cent are accessing self-help online while 30 per cent are seeking medical advice or treatment.
"Having a strong social network and talking with friends or family can be very therapeutic but sometimes more help may be needed," says Sam Mikail, director of mental health solutions at Sun Life. "It's important to understand how you are feeling and know the warning signs. Working with a health care practitioner can equip you with strategies to manage your mental health."
Among those seeking treatment or support, 45 per cent are women and 38 per cent are men, found the survey of 1,000 respondents between April 29 and May 1, 2020.
Canadians 18 to 34 years of age managing their mental heath are the most likely to use self-help resources (52 per cent), but least likely to access medical advice and treatment (25 per cent). In comparison, 20 per cent of those 55 years of age and older are using self-help resources, but they are the most likely to access medical advice and treatment (54 per cent)Meanwhile, those in the older group are more likely to seek out medical advice and treatment (54 per cent) compared to those in the younger group (25 per cent.
"Just as we manage our fitness and nutrition, we need to manage our mental well-being. It's more important than ever to check in on yourself, and get the support you need before you have a serious mental health concern,” says Jacques Goulet, president of Sun Life Canada.
A separate survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in the U.S. found that many employees are experiencing symptoms of depressions amid the pandemic.
However, just 42 per cent of employees have reached out to their family or friends; 11 per cent have reached out to their colleagues; and only seven per cent have reached out to a mental health professional.
With different mental health issues, 23.7 per cent of respondents to a Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) study reported engaging in binge drinking at least once in the third week of May, and those who are very worried about the impact of COVID-19 on their personal finances (27.7 per cent) are especially likely to engage in binge drinking.