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Mental Health and Substance Use During COVID-19: Summary Report

The mental health and substance use impacts of the pandemic have been greater for people living with, or at risk of, mental health and substance use disorders.

  • Only 2 in 5 respondents report strong (very good/excellent) mental health.
  • 14% of respondents report moderately severe/severe current symptoms of depression, 24% report moderate/severe symptoms of anxiety, and 5–6% have seriously contemplated suicide since March 2020.
  • 1 in 3 respondents who use alcohol report increased use and 1 in 5 report problematic use; 2 out of 5 who use cannabis report increased use AND problematic use.

The pandemic is amplifying the close relationship between mental health and substance use.

  • Respondents with past and current substance use concerns report more mental health symptoms. Nearly 1 out of 2 respondents with past substance use disorders report moderately severe to severe depression symptoms since March 2020.
  • Respondents with past and current mental health concerns report greater increases in substance use. Almost 1 out of 2 respondents with current mental health symptoms who consume cannabis report increased consumption.

Access to services is not keeping up with increasing need.

  • Only 22% of respondents with current mental health symptoms and 24% with current problematic substance use report access to treatment since March; about 1 in 5 of respondents who have received care report finding access difficult.

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