Mental Health Research Canada Poll #17 reveals negative impacts of inflation

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September 8, 2023 – Today, Mental Health Research Canada (MHRC) released the results of the latest in-depth survey designed, executed, and analysed on their behalf by Pollara Strategic Insights. This is the 17th survey conducted for MHRC since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to monitor, track, and understand Canadians’ mental health during and beyond this crisis.

This latest study reveals that financial concerns remain a major factor driving negative mental health among Canadians, especially among those who are facing financial and/or cost of living challenges.  Among the key findings:

  • 39% of respondents feel economic issues are impacting their mental health.
  • Suicide ideation among Canadians experiencing financial challenges is alarmingly high, with 41% reporting having thought about suicide in the last year.
  • The impacts of inflation are affecting Canadians, with 24% reporting having gone into debt as a result.
  • Housing and food insecurity remains high, with 23% of Canadians concerned about their ability to make rent or mortgage payments, and 37% struggling to feed themselves or their families.
  • When it comes to accessing mental health care, 29% (+11 vs. previous polls) of Canadians cite an inability to pay as the reason for not doing so, despite needing it.  Nevertheless, there has been an increase in Canadians paying for mental health services out of pocket (+7 vs. May 2023) due to not having sufficient coverage.

The online survey was conducted from July 27 to August 13, 2023 amongst a randomly-selected, reliable sample of N=3,819 adult Canadians.   

For more detailed findings from this survey, please read the report. In addition, in collaboration with Pollara, MHRC hosts an interactive, easily searchable Data Portal, which tracks the data captured in this series of surveys. MHRC has also released a series of research briefs that provide an in-depth investigation of specific issues and population cohorts in this survey series. All of these materials and more are hosted on the MHRC website.

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