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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A rendering shows an “mini urban bazaar” for very small businesses proposed in Cumberland. Image, Cumberland staff report
Cumberland considers microbusiness hub downtown

Applicant will have to host online or outdoor meeting for public input

From left - Rev. Sulin Milne, rector of St Peter’s, Karen Cummins and Bill Henderson of Nature Comox Valley pose for a photo with the newly-planted Garry oak tree. Photo supplied
Young Garry oak planted at St. Peter’s church gardens as a sign of resiliency

By Tony Reynolds Special to The Record St Peter’s Anglican Church, Comox,… Continue reading

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Co-ordinator/founder David Clarke, right, is pictured with members of Comox Valley Street Outreach during Monday’s rig dig. Scott Stanfield photo
Comox Valley group aims to stop overdose deaths, reduce stigma

As the overdose crisis worsens throughout B.C., a local advocacy group is… Continue reading

London Drugs now taking COVID-19 bookings. Screenshot, London Drugs
Courtenay London Drugs now taking COVID-19 bookings

A number of locations in Western Canada selected to give vaccine

A lone traveler enters the Calgary Airport in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
VIDEO: Trudeau defends Canada’s travel restrictions as effective but open to doing more

Trudeau said quarantine hotels for international air travellers will continue until at least May 21

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson leaves the assembly with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Paid sick leave for ‘hard-hit’ workers left out of provincial budget: BCGEU

‘For recovery to be equitable it requires supports for workers, not just business,’ says union president Laird Cronk

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

A total of 10 flight exposures have affected the Victoria International Airport in April so far, making it the highest monthly total since the start of the pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hits record-breaking number of monthly COVID-19 flight exposures

As of April 21, 10 flight exposures reported for the month

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of B.C. varsity women’s team

Suspension of Barney Williams would be reversed if he complies with certain terms

Most Read