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Canadians report an increase in feeling stressed regularly or all the time now compared to one month before COVID-19

Canadians report an increase in their level of stress from the month before COVID-19 to now, and most often cite concerns about contracting or a family member contracting COVID-19 as the driver behind that stress. Canadians are more likely to report their mental health is worse or somewhat worse than before COVID-19 rather than better or somewhat better citing increased stress and uncertainty. The main concern of Canadians related to the impact of COVID-19 is personal financial hardship and economic impact and job loss, and Canadians most often rank keeping the economy healthy so people have jobs and income as the most important priority for the mental health of Canadians now and one year from now.

  • Canadians most often say they are most concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on the personal financial wellbeing and debt of Canadians – Asked what are the two things that concern them most, if anything, about the personal impact the current Covid-19 outbreak will have on people in Canada, Canadians most often mention personal financial hardship/debt (39%), followed by economic impact/loss of jobs (30%), spreading the virus/health (23%), and mental health (22%). Eighteen per cent mention changing social interactions/lasting fear/ misinformation, while nine per cent each mention conditions in long-term care/capacity in health system and loss of life.
  • More than eight in ten Canadians say mental and physical health care are equally important – A majority of Canadians (83%) say that mental and physical health care are equally important, while 11 per cent say mental health care is more important and six per cent say mental health care is less important. One per cent are unsure.

Text Box: © NANOS RESEARCHCanadians most often report they occasionally felt stress the month before the COVID-19 outbreak – One in two Canadians say thinking of the month before COVID-19 they felt stress occasionally (50%), while three in ten report they felt stress never (six per cent) or almost never (24%). Two in ten Canadians report they felt stress regularly (17%) or all the time (four per cent). Canadians 18 to 34 are more likely to report they felt stress regularly (26%) or all the time (seven per cent) than Canadians 55 plus (eight per cent regularly; one per cent all the time).

  • Canadians most often report they have felt stress regularly or all the time in the last month because of the COVID-19 outbreak – More than four in ten Canadians report they have felt stress regularly (33%) or all the time (13%) in the last month because of the COVID-19 outbreak, while 38 per cent report they have felt stress occasionally. Just under two in ten Canadians report they felt stress almost never (12%) or never (four per cent) in the last month. Canadians 18 to 34 are more likely to report they have felt stress regularly (36%) or all the time (18%) than Canadians 55 plus (29% regularly; seven per cent all the time). Canadians who report having three or more people in their household are more likely to report feeling stressed regularly (39%) or all the time (14%) than Canadians with two people in their household (30% regularly; 10% all the time) and Canadians with one person in their household (27% regularly; 15% all the time).
    • Canadians who have felt stress all the time most often say the primary driver of stress in the last month is concerns related to contracting or family members contracting the virus – Asked what the primary reason is for feeling stressed in the last month, Canadians who report they have felt stress all the time most often mention contracting or family members contracting the virus (28%), followed by financial stress/job security (24%), and uncertainty/fear of the unknown (13%). Canadians who report they have almost never felt stress in the last month most often mention finances/job security (20%), followed by contracting or family members contracting the virus (14%), and feeling trapped/ loss of freedom (10%).

Text Box: © NANOS RESEARCHCanadians are four times more likely to report their mental health is worse or somewhat worse than before COVID-19 rather than better or somewhat better – Just over one in two Canadians (51%) report their mental health today is about the same as before the COVID-19 pandemic, while nearly four in ten report their mental health is somewhat worse (28%) or worse (10%). One in ten report their mental health is better (three per cent) or somewhat better (seven per cent), and one per cent are unsure. Canadians 55 years of age and older are more likely to report their mental health is worse (63%) than Canadians 35 to 54 (49%) and those 18 to 34 (36%). Canadians who report having three or more people in their household are more likely to report their mental health is worse (13%) or somewhat worse (33%) than before COVID-19 than Canadians with two people in their household (eight per cent worse; 27% somewhat worse) and Canadians with one person in their household (10% worse; 23% somewhat worse).

  • Canadians who report their mental health is worse most often cite increased stress, uncertainty and sleep problems – Asked why they have that opinion, Canadians who report their mental health is worse than before COVID-19 most often mention increased stress/uncertainty/sleep problems (27%) and not being able to do regular activities/socialize/feeling isolated (21%). Canadians report their mental health is better most often cite less stress from work/less to worry about (27%), and I have started new hobbies/take care of myself (22%).
    • More than three in four Canadians report they have never or almost never gone online to find information on mental health in the last month – A majority of Canadians report they have never (63%) or almost never (14%) gone online in the last month to find information on mental health for themselves or their family, while 17 per cent report they have done this occasionally. Fewer than one in ten Canadians report they have done this regularly (four per cent) of all the time (one per cent).
    • Canadians most often rank news/media websites as the most important source they use to get information on mental health – Asked to rank the importance of sources they use to get information on mental health, Canadians most often rank news/media websites first (28%), followed by Government of Canada COVID-19 website (23%), provincial COVID-19 website (19%), social media (such as Twitter and Facebook)(14%), and mental health professionals/therapists/doctors (four per cent)..

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