Almost four of 10 Canadians reported feelings of loneliness or isolation because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Black Press Media File)

Almost four of 10 Canadians reported feelings of loneliness or isolation because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Black Press Media File)

Nearly four of 10 Canadians feeling loneliness or isolation because of COVID-19

Pandemic also worsened the mental health of most Canadians with a positive diagnosis before pandemic

Almost four of 10 Canadians reported feelings of loneliness or isolation because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This figure appears in newly released research from Statistics Canada surveying the wide-ranging impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey found about one in five Canadian adults aged 18 and older (21 per cent) screened positive for at least one of three assessed mental disorders during the survey period from September to December 2020: major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Researchers did not specifically ask respondents to report their symptoms in relation to COVID-19. “As such, any reported symptoms may have been present before the beginning of the pandemic,” it reads. This said, the pandemic may have intensified pre-existing symptoms.

“Of those who screened positive for a disorder, 68 per cent reported that their mental health had worsened since the start of the pandemic,” it reads.

RELATED: Researchers study how pandemic affecting people’s mental health

RELATED: Pandemic worsening mental health for women more than men, poll suggests

To better understand the mental health of Canadians negatively affected by the pandemic, researchers compared the prevalence of positive screens for mental disorders between those who experienced various impacts due to the pandemic with those who did not.

While 38 per cent of Canadians said they experienced feelings of loneliness or isolation, this impact was significantly higher among individuals with major depressive disorder (29 per cent versus six per cent), generalized anxiety disorder (25 per cent versus six per cent), and probable PTSD (13 per cent versus two per cent), compared with those who did not report experiencing this impact.

The survey also finds a relation between mental health and financial difficulties. Almost one-third of Canadians who reported financial difficulties due to the pandemic also screened positive for major depressive disorder (32 per cent) or generalized anxiety disorder (29 per cent). Another 17 per cent of Canadians who reported financial difficulties also screened positive for probable PTSD.

By contrast, among individuals who did not experience financial difficulties due to the pandemic, fewer screened positive for depression (12 per cent), anxiety (10 per cent) and probable PTSD (five per cent).

“This pattern is consistent with pre-pandemic findings of an association between higher rates of mental disorders, and low income and financial strain,” it reads. “Those who reported job or income loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic also had much higher rates of screening positive for each of the mental disorders compared with those who did not experience that impact due to the pandemic.”


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. Toxic illicit drugs have claimed the lives of 498 British Columbians in the first three months of 2021, said the BC Coroners Service. (BCEHS photo)
Increase in overdose cases a concern: Fort St. James RCMP

Police issue public health announcement

Jim Woodruff from the Vanderhoof Curling Club has won volunteer of the year by Curl BC. (Photo submitted)
Jim Woodruff awarded Curl BC Volunteer of the Year

“It really is fun making nice ice.”

A groundbreaking ceremony for Cluculz Lake’s new fire hall will take place Tuesday, June 22. The current fire hall is able to only store one apparatus. (Photo submitted)
New fire hall on the way for Cluculz Lake

Approximate $950,000 facility anticipated to be completed by this fall

A cell tower is pictured in rural Ontario on Wednesday, July 15, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)
Connected future for Saik’uz First Nation

Cellular tower to be constructed by Telus within the community

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Superintendent Aaron Paradis, community services officer with the Surrey RCMP, during a media availability about a recent drug bust in Port Coquitlam. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Police seize 13 million ‘potentially fatal doses’ of fentanyl at B.C. drug lab

The evidence was seized at large, illicit drug manufacturing site in Port Coquitlam

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth debates the province’s latest measure to control crime, March 10, 2021. The legislation allows police to impound vehicles used to transport weapons and further restricts sale of vehicle and body armour. (B.C. legislature video)
B.C. seeking ways to ‘name and shame’ gangsters, minister says

Mike Farnworth appeals to family members to talk to police

Jonathan Prest had to climb way up to the top of a dead red cedar tree to rescue a terrified cat, but he made it up and down successfully. (Facebook photos)
Tree cutter rescues cat stuck 100 feet up a dead and dried-out cedar

Jonathan Prest put himself in extreme peril to get a terrified cat out of a dangerous situation

The Greater Victoria School District continues to face backlash over its wording and approach to Indigenous learners in its 2021-2022 budget talks. (Black Press Media file photo)
School district’s approach to Indigenous learners leaves Victoria teachers ‘disgusted’

Backlash grows over ‘pattern of colonial thinking permeating the leadership’

Italian-Canadian prisoners at the Kananaskis prisoner of war camp in Alberta. (University of Calgary/Contributed)
Italian moved to Okanagan with hope; he ended up being sent to a WWII internment camp

Raymond Lenzi shares his grandfather’s story ahead of Canada’s planned formal apology to Italian-Canadians

Then-minister Rich Coleman, escorted by Victoria Police, makes his way to the east wing amid a protest blocking the legislature entrances before the throne speech in Victoria, B.C., Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. money laundering inquiry testimony ends today with reappearance of Rich Coleman

Responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, Coleman been recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month

Colin Dowler rests in hospital recuperating from wounds suffered from a grizzly bear attack north of Campbell River. He was able to end the struggle by stabbing the bear in the neck with a knife like the one he is holding. Photo submitted
‘Bad-ass dude that took on a grizzly bear’ doesn’t let 2019 B.C. attack bring him down

Campbell River’s Colin Dowler gets on with his life as his rehabilitation continues

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport in Richmond, B.C. on Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Meeting police chance to get sense of ‘frustrating’ gang violence situation: minister

Mike Farnworth met with police representatives Thursday following a recent spate of shootings

Most Read