1 in 5 Canadians have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression amid the pandemic

We’re learning more about the impact the global pandemic is having on Canadians and the results are grim.

A new study from Mental Health Research Canada (MHRC) has found that one in five Canadians have been diagnosed with anxiety or depression since the pandemic started.

“We have deep concerns about the trends we are seeing,” says John Trainor, chair of MHRC’s board and an adjunct faculty member with the department of psychiatry at the University of Toronto.

“But we also believe that Canadians are showing strength and common purpose in meeting the COVID-19 challenge. Governments are working together and most Canadians report following public health advice.”

Read more: Front-line nurses suffering psychological distress, burn-out amid COVID-19, International Council of Nurses says

Those findings come from a national survey called Mental Health in Crisis: How COVID-19 is impacting Canadians.

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The survey was launched to capture perceptions of the levels of anxiety and depression and to help to identify and evaluate factors that have an impact on mental health.

“MHRC is collaborating extensively with stakeholders federally and provincially as we develop this important work, says Akela Peoples, chief executive of MHRC.

“We are pleased to play a role in providing information to Canadians during the pandemic. This information will be key to helping us all get through the coming months.”

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Those findings were released on Saturday, which was World Mental Health Day. The day is dedicated to global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma.

“Let’s get rid of that stigma, let’s make sure that every day is mental health day for everybody and that means for ourselves and the other people we care about,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory during a Thanksgiving food drive.

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