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Most of us say our mental health has suffered because of COVID-19

Half of Canadians feel their mental health is deteriorating due to COVID-19, according to a new report.

A new Angus Reid Institute poll offers a bleak picture on the number of individuals struggling over the past month and a half. One in ten Canadians claimed that their mental health had worsened “a lot.” When asked to describe their mental health during the pandemic, less than 20 per cent of respondents said they were optimistic and 16 per cent who reported being depressed. Just 14 per cent said they feel normal, and 44 per cent said they are feeling “worried.”

These findings come at a time when mental health call centres in the country have reported an increase of 30 to 50 per cent since the pandemic began. At the same time, some distress centres have seen a 90 per cent drop in volunteers.

Rima Styra, an associate professor of psychiatry at University of Toronto told CTV News that as time goes on, mental health issues amongst Canadians will only worsen.

“Right now we’re not seeing all of it because people are trying to deal with their specific needs right now,” she said. “Housing, finding food… trying to deal with employment. But once all of this settles, people are going to sit back and start thinking about it.”

Styra added that people should be monitoring themselves and seeking mental health supports if they are sad, pessimistic about the future, carrying anxiety or have difficulty concentrating.