As we have all pivoted and learned to live in a COVID-19 era, the associated need for physical distancing and other monumental behavioural shifts have taken a toll on Canadians’ mental health.
As we attend fewer events, frequent community spaces less often, and struggle to maintain meaningful connections with families and friends, a new study from the Angus Reid Institute highlights some of the impacts that this large-scale social distancing has had.
The study found that compared to last year, only one-in-three, compared to one-in-two Canadians in 2019, report having a good social life. Only 53%, compared to 67% said their mental health was good or very good, and one-in-five report that their mental health is either poor or very poor. The percentage that suffers from both loneliness and social isolation has increased from one-in-four to one-in-three, and the percentage suffering from neither has declined sharply from 22% to 12%.
Key findings from the study include:
Canadians relationships with their family members have remained a source of comfort and have remained largely positive.
The number of residents over 54 years of age who say they would rather see more of people has nearly doubled, from 18% last year to 33% this year.
Older Canadians tend to be enduring the pandemic best, with many using technology to stay connected. Use of video calling apps among this group has increased from 36% to 55%.
In contrast, just 47% of Canadians reported that using Zoom, FaceTime and other video calling apps makes them feel more connected to friends and family.
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