May 24, 2022 – Mental Health Research Canada (MHRC) has released its 12th poll in its ongoing series of surveys on Canadians’ mental health since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. This survey, conducted from April 13-25, 2022 amongst N=3,000 adult Canadians, represents a period when COVID-19 restrictions in Canada had substantially eased and some public health measures were removed.
The study found that the mental health of Canadians slowly continues to improve. The percentage of Canadians experiencing high levels of self-rated anxiety has dropped from 24% in December 2021 to 21% in April 2022. These are the lowest levels seen in the self-rated scale and clinical screeners in depression and anxiety since April 2021. Fewer Canadians are experiencing disruptions caused by mental health challenges. Recovery to mental health levels seen prior to the pandemic remains a distant hope.
Concern around the lasting impact of COVID-19 continues and has seen a slight increase in this poll. Fear of a family member catching the virus has also increased. A majority of Canadians also support COVID-19 health measures, particularly those experiencing high levels of self-rated anxiety.
Other key findings include:
- Mental health literacy — measured by how often mental health is thought about, discussed, or read about — in Canadians is low. Canadians over the age of 55 are demonstrating the lowest mental health literacy while students are demonstrating the highest.
- New mothers are experiencing higher than average levels of anxiety. About 31% of mothers with children aged between 0 and 1 have high anxiety, as compared to the 21% of the general population with high anxiety. Optimistically, the findings show that new mothers are very hopeful, have good relationships with others, and are more likely to talk to a mental health professional.
- About a quarter (27%) of working Canadians are experiencing burnout. This is even higher among those who are currently looking for work (36%) and low among retirees (9%).
- One-fifth of Canadians have accessed mental health support since the start of the pandemic. There was a considerable decline in Canadians’ satisfaction with accessing mental health support since December 2021. Now, levels are back to those seen in November 2021 (69% are satisfied).
- Despite the issues they are facing,most Canadians continue to be hopeful for their future. They feel their relationships are valued and allow them to get help when they need it.
These and other key findings are featured in both the summary report and full survey report – as well as an interactive, searchable data portal – are available at www.mhrc.ca. The online survey was conducted amongst a randomly-selected, reliable sample of N=3,000 adult Canadians from April 13-25, 2022, as part of MHRC’s ongoing series of surveys – “Mental Health in Crisis: How COVID-19 Is Impacting Canadians” – designed to capture Canadians’ perceptions of their levels of anxiety and depression to identify and evaluate factors that influence mental health.