Canadians’ mental health continues to decline as pandemic rages on


Published November 13, 2020 at 3:54 pm


With the pandemic continuing to drag on—it’s now been more than half a year—many Canadians are continuing to struggle with their mental health.

The monthly Mental Health Index, released by Morneau Shepell, found that Canadians’ mental health continued to decline through October—October’s score was a -11.4, a decline from September’s score of -10.2.

According to the findings, two of the reasons for the continued decline were the extended period of strain caused by the pandemic, as well as the presidential election in the U.S.

October’s -11.4 is near the lowest the score has been all year—it declined to -11.7 in April—the height of the pandemic.

Because the stress associated with the pandemic has been continuing for so long, many Canadians have found they need some form of support—48 per cent of respondents said they needed some form of mental health support.

The majority of respondents—24 per cent—said their support comes from family, 20 per cent said they receive support from coworkers, but only eight per cent said they receive support from a professional.

Additionally, nine per cent of respondents said they feel they need support but haven’t sought it.

Further, Canadians have found their declining mental health is having an impact on their productivity at work—the score for productivity at work is -12.6, which is below the score of -12.1 in June.

“COVID-19 continues to take a toll on the mental health of Canadians, and we are now approaching a point in the year when feelings of isolation, stress and anxiety will likely get worse,” Stephen Liptrap, president and CEO of Morneau Shepell, said in a news release.

“The restrictions imposed to combat the second wave of the pandemic and the approaching cold weather are keeping Canadians indoors for longer periods of time. Organizations need to make a conscious effort to check back in with employees and review their mental health strategies, or risk detrimental and long-term impacts on business performance,” he continued.

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