But depression, loneliness persist: survey
Canadians are faring better these days when it comes to anxiety about the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to a survey from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
One in five (21.5 per cent) say they felt moderate to severe anxiety levels between May 29 and June 1, down from 25.5 per cent from three weeks ago. Also, 21.8 per cent are worried about getting the COVID-19 infection, down from 26.4 per cent.
Among women, 23.3 per cent experienced moderate to severe anxiety, down from 29.5 per cent while 18.7 per cent of men experienced the same, down from 21.2 per cent.
“It’s clear that some people are feeling less anxious with time as they come to terms with our ‘new normal.’ But some continue to struggle, including with feelings of depression,” says David Gratzer, CAMH physician and attending psychiatrist. “This suggests that we will have ongoing mental health needs, especially for populations made vulnerable, like those who are unemployed, and those who are involved in front-line work or are at risk of getting severely ill.”
One in five (21.2 per cent) Canadians say they are experiencing depression (up from 20.4 per cent) while 23.7 per cent reported loneliness (up from 23.2 per cent) compared to the previous survey.
“People who were worried about their finances or were worried about themselves or a loved one getting COVID-19 were more likely than others to report moderate to severe anxiety levels, to feel lonely, and to feel depressed,” says CAMH. “In addition, those who lost their job due to the pandemic were more likely than others to report moderate to severe anxiety levels and feel depressed – these differences were found in both surveys.”
Also, men were still more likely to engage in binge drinking compared with women (31.2 per cent versus 18 per cent), found the survey of 1,002 Canadians.
Meanwhile, 13 per cent of respondents say they were laid off or not working due to COVID-19, down from 17.1 per cent, while 18.5 per cent are very worried about their personal financial situation, a decrease from 21.9 per cent.
Earlier this month, Canadians’ mental health and well-being were still down despite a slowing of infections and most provinces proceeding with a phased reopening of their economies, according to a report from Morneau Shepell.
Forty-two per cent of Canadians are currently seeking mental health treatment or support, according to a separate 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.