June 17, 2020 (Toronto) — The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Canada’s largest mental health teaching hospital, and Delvinia, a leading global research technology company, are offering insight into the changing nature of Canadians’ mental health and substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data collected by Delvinia between May 29 and June 1, 2020, when compared with inaugural results of a national survey collected three weeks earlier, indicate that although Canadians feel less anxiety (16 per cent drop from previous survey) and are less worried about contracting COVID-19 (17 per cent drop), they continue to experience depression and loneliness at the same rates.
“Collecting data on an ongoing basis is vitally important to understand Canadians’ mental health and substance use patterns during this unprecedented time,” said Dr. Hayley Hamilton, a Senior Scientist in the Institute for Mental Health Policy Research at CAMH. “This information will be useful for organizations who provide services to people in need of mental health care, for governments and for system-wide decision makers so they can better respond to people’s needs during and after this crisis.”
“It’s clear that some people are feeling less anxious with time as they come to terms with our ‘new normal,’” added Dr. David Gratzer, CAMH physician and attending psychiatrist. “But some continue to struggle, including with feelings of depression. This suggests that we will have ongoing mental health needs, especially for populations made vulnerable, like those who are unemployed, and those who are involved in front-line work or are at risk of getting severely ill.”
In support of the response to COVID-19, Delvinia is providing free access to all survey data via its Methodify platform. This can be accessed at delvinia.com/camh-coronavirus-mental-health/.
“The new data highlights that Canadians continue to experience depression and loneliness at this historic time,” said Adam Froman, Founder and CEO of Delvinia. “This shows us that more must be done to improve the mental health of all Canadians. I encourage the public to download the data for free via Delvinia’s Methodify platform, and to use the findings to implement mental wellness tools and programs within their organizations.”
Key Survey Findings:*
- Fewer Canadians within our survey reported being laid off or not working due to COVID-19 (decrease from 17.1 per cent in the first survey to 13 per cent in the second survey) or being very worried about their personal financial situation (decrease from 21.9 per cent to 18.5 per cent).
- Fewer Canadians reported moderate to severe anxiety levels during the pandemic (decrease from 25.5 per cent in the first survey to 21.5 per cent in the second survey) or that they were very worried about getting COVID-19 (decrease from 26.4 per cent to 21.8 per cent).
- Depression and loneliness remain consistent, as in the second survey 21.2 per cent reported feeling depressed occasionally or most of the time in the previous week, and 23.7 per cent reported feeling lonely. These figures are similar to data from three weeks earlier when 20.4 per cent reported feeling depressed and 23.2 per cent reported loneliness.
- Among women, there was a decline in those who experienced moderate to severe anxiety (decrease from 29.5 per cent to 23.3 per cent).
- People who were worried about their finances or were worried about themselves or a loved one getting COVID-19 were more likely than others to report moderate to severe anxiety levels, to feel lonely, and to feel depressed. In addition, those who lost their job due to the pandemic were more likely than others to report moderate to severe anxiety levels and feel depressed – these differences were found in both surveys.
- Men were still more likely to engage in binge drinking at 31.2 per cent compared to 18 per cent for women.
* The per cent difference between two time points is simply the difference between the two percentage values; the percentage change is this difference divided by the initial per cent and then multiplied by 100.
The series is made possible by a collaboration with Methodify by Delvinia, an automated research platform that connects organizations to real people to gain actionable data and insights. The most recent survey results are based on responses from 1,002 English-speaking Canadians ages 18 and older via an online survey of the AskingCanadians web panel, reflecting the distribution of the Canadian population in terms of age, gender and region. The first survey was conducted between May 29 and June 1, 2020. The series will continue to be redeployed in the coming weeks as pandemic continues to unfold.
An interactive dashboard highlighting key survey findings will be updated after each subsequent survey, and can be viewed on CAMH’s website at camh.ca/covid19dashboard. Visit camh.ca/covid19 for a variety of other resources, including tips, coping strategies and resources regarding mental health and substance use during the pandemic. We are apart. Not alone.
About The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
CAMH is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital and a world leading research centre in this field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental illness and addiction. CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more information, please follow @CAMHnews on Twitter.
Delvinia is a research technology and consumer data collection company that is transforming how data is collected and used to underpin business decision-making at every level. The company has spawned a successful portfolio of products and services, including the research automation platform Methodify.it, the online consumer panels AskingCanadians and AskingAmericans, and CRIS, which automates qualitative research. For more information, please visit delvinia.com or follow @delvinia on Twitter.
CAMH Media Relations
Delvinia Media Relations