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HomeLeger Poll: The Relationship Between Mental Health and Substance Use During COVID-19Mental Health and Substance Use During COVID-19 – Spotlight on Gender and Household Size

Leger Poll: Spotlight on Gender and Household Size

COVID-19 continues to have a serious impact on mental health and substance use, with differences by gender and household size

A new report from the series of Leger polls commissioned by the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction highlights the different impact of COVID-19-related stressors by gender and household size, and provides an update on impacts for people with pre-existing substance use disorders or mental illness.

The survey of more than 7,000 Canadian residents found that female respondents in households with children under 13 reported higher rates of anxiety and increased substance use.

Key findings:

  • More females report moderate-to-severe anxiety symptoms than males (29% vs 20%), with even higher rates for females and males in households with kids under 13 (37% vs 24%)
  • Females in households with kids under 13 report higher rates of increased substance use than males (37% vs 26% for alcohol, 48% vs 37% for cannabis).
  • More males report excellent or very good mental health than females (48% vs 35%),  but more males report problematic alcohol use (28% vs 16%) and problematic cannabis use (43% vs 32%).
  • People living alone are more likely to report moderate-to-severe depression symptoms (20% vs 15%), thoughts of suicide (9% vs 6%), and problematic alcohol use (31% vs 22%) compared to the rest of the population.
  • Infographic: Mental Health and Substance Use During COVID-19: Spotlight on Canadian Households with Young Children