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More Canadians are reporting a deterioration in their mental health due to strict social distancing measures put in place to curb the coronavirus pandemic two months ago.
Almost one quarter of Canadians indicate fair or poor mental health, according to a survey by Statistics Canada released Wednesday. That’s up from eight per cent in a 2018 survey.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in millions of job losses across Canada and the closing of nonessential businesses for weeks on end. Aside from the financial stress associated with the shutdown, the survey shows mental health is also taking a hit from physical distancing measures. Canadians have been encouraged to stay home and keep at least 6 feet away from others.
Negative mental-health impacts are most common among those aged 15 to 24 and among those who have been financially affected. The higher level of anxiety among youth is consistent with another study on postsecondary students showing significant concerns about finances, academic disruptions and employment prospects.
Statistics Canada conducted the online survey of 46,000 Canadians between April 24 and May 11.