If you are in distress, you can text WELLNESS to 741741 at any time. If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency department.

Home › Resources › Mental Health and Substance Use During COVID-19: Spotlight on Youth, Older Adults & Stigma

Mental Health and Substance Use During COVID-19: Spotlight on Youth, Older Adults & Stigma

Serious impact from COVID-19 on mental health and substance use continues, especially among youth

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 disproportionate negative impact of the pandemic among youth, the resilience of older adults, and the ongoing prevalence of stigma toward depression and alcohol use disorders. The survey of more than 10,000 people across Canada also highlights COVID-19’s impact on people with pre-existing substance use disorders or mental illness.

Key findings:

  • The level of mental health and substance use concerns across Canada remains high, particularly for people with past and current substance use concerns.
  • Among youth (16-24), 45 per cent report moderate to severe anxiety symptoms, and about 40 per cent of those who use alcohol and/or cannabis report increased use in the past month and a reduced ability to handle pandemic stress.
  • By comparison, older adults (65+) show signs of better mental health and less problematic substance use as well as stronger coping skills.
  • Perceived stigma toward depression is still common and even more prevalent for alcohol use disorders.
  • Continued investments in youth mental health and substance use supports, resilience among older adults, and (further) stigma reduction efforts are needed.

Other reports in this series

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

Mental Health and Substance Use During COVID-19: Spotlight on Gender and Household Size

Mental Health and Substance Use During COVID-19: Spotlight on Income, Employment, Access

Feedback Form

Hey, thanks for checking out this resource. After you’ve seen it, we’d love to learn a bit more about your interests and how you found us. Was the information what you looking for? Was it helpful? We’ll use any feedback you provide to further improve what we do. In appreciation, you’ll be automatically entered in a contest where you could win a cash prize or gift certificate. *

Disclaimer:

  • Completion of the form is voluntary.
  • The information collected by the Mental Health Commission of Canada will only be used for the purpose described above.
Are you willing to be contacted within 3 to 6 months for a short follow-up survey?
In case of “Yes” – please provide an email address

SURVEY CONTEST MINI RULES

No purchase necessary. Open to residents of Canada age 13+ who are the intended recipient of an invitation to complete the Mental Health Commission of Canada survey and participate in the contest. Starts October 3, 2022 at 12:00 a.m. ET and ends March 15, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. ET. 6 prizes available: (i) 1 x $500 CAD online retailer gift certificate prize; and (ii) 5 x $50 CAD online retailer gift certificate prizes. Limit 1 entry per person/email. Odds depend on number of eligible entries. Math skill-testing question required. Click here to read Full rules and entry details.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

SHARE THIS PAGE

RELATED

This short, animated video tells the story of our investment in 14 community-based research (CBR) projects to address knowledge gaps in the relation between cannabis and mental health. CBR meaningfully...

Guiding questions in the brief: What barriers and facilitators support psychological self-care and protection from moral distress for long-term care workers and their organizations? How has the pandemic impacted these...

Mental health and substance use concerns have remained elevated in all province. The Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction tracked the relationship...