"Isolation and loneliness": COVID-19 affecting the mental health of Canadians

Oct 14 2020, 11:27 am

A new study from the Angus Reid Institute cites how social behaviours brought on by the pandemic have significantly affected the mental health of Canadians.

The study found that as a result of mandated isolation due to COVID-19, many Canadians have voiced concerns about the state of their mental health.

The unprecedented drop in community activity and involvement in all forms has greatly affected Canadians, with just 53% reporting that their mental health is “good” or “very good.” This number dropped down from 67% of Canadians who reported the same in 2019.

This year, 19% of Canadians, specifically young women, have also reported that their mental health is either “poor” or “very poor.”

Angus Reid Institute

The study found that the percentage of those who say they have a good social life has fallen from 55% in 2019 down to just one-in-three, or 33%, this year as a result of behaviours brought on by the virus.

This year, the percentage of Canadians who can be categorized as “desolate,” described as those who suffer from loneliness and social isolation, has increased from 23% of the population in 2019 to 33% in 2020. Further, the percentage suffering from neither has dropped from 22% to 12%.

To help, Angus Reid found many are using technology to stay connected, especially those 55 years of age or older.

But “Canadians using Zoom, FaceTime and other video calling apps are less enthusiastic about the experience this year than last,” said the survey.

“Just 47% say it makes them feel more connected to friends and family, while 47% say it’s simply better than nothing. Last year, 71% chose the former, suggesting the increase in usage is reducing the quality of overall connection.”

The Government of Canada has a website set up for mental health during COVID-19. You can visit it, and get more information, here.

Téana GrazianiTéana Graziani

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