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

John and Jeri Wyatt hope the upcoming North Cowichan public hearing will move things along toward exclusion of the Chemainus River Campground from the Agricultural Land Reserve. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Opportunity for input on campground ALR exclusion at public hearing

Matter back on the agenda after a late reprieve in 2019 for Chemainus River Campground owners

Rainforest Arts in downtown Chemainus is closing temporarily. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Rising COVID cases cited in temporary Rainforest Arts closure

Contact can still be made through email and social media

The Red Zed 1 aroused a great deal of curiosity when it was stationed off Kin Beach in Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Alaskan fast ferries the eventual load for heavy hauler

The Red Zed 1 stayed anchored in Chemainus for the better part of a month and a half

A police car at the scene of a child’s death Friday, April 9, at the Falcon Nest Motel in Duncan. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
RCMP investigating child’s death at Duncan’s Falcon Nest Motel

First responders attended to a call about an unresponsive child at the… Continue reading

North Cowichan is looking for public input through a survey as it updates its Master Transportation Plan. (File photo)
North Cowichan looking for public input on transportation

Online survey to be held until April 22

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Two men were seen removing red dresses alongside the Island Highway in Oyster Bay. (Submitted photo)
Two men filmed removing red dresses from trees on highway near Ladysmith

Activists hung the dresses to raise awareness for Vancouver Island’s Murdered/Missing Women & Girls

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

RCMP on scene yesterday at the altercation at the trailer park. (Submitted photo)
Violent altercation at Port Hardy trailer park sends one to hospital

Police say man confronted another over airsoft shooting, then was attacked with a weapon

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

John Albert Buchanan was found guilty of manslaughter in the 2017 death of Richard Sitar. Pictured here, Buchanan walking to the court in Nanaimo last year. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Six years including time served for Nanaimo man in bludgeoning death

John Albert Buchanan sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo for death of Richard Sitar

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Most Read