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Canadians' mental health hits new low in December due to pandemic: survey

Last Updated Jan 13, 2021 at 4:43 pm PDT

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The mental health of Canadians is getting worse over the course of the pandemic, hitting a new low in December: data

Morneau Shepell has been keeping tabs on mental health since last year and found more people are worried about coworkers

In B.C., more and more people are reporting feeling stressed

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The pandemic continues to take a toll on the mental health of Canadians, with data showing show it’s at its lowest levels since last April.

Morneau Shepell has been keeping tabs on since then found mental health has been declining month after month, hitting a new low in December. The company conducted an online survey with 3,000 respondents across Canada.

Over the past nine months, feelings of optimism, isolation, and general psychological health have worsened, the survey found, and Canadians are expressing concern over the impact COVID-19 is having on the people around them.

RELATED: ‘Such despair they can’t see past it’: Pandemic-driven mental health crises on the rise in Canada

Thirty-six per cent of workers are worried about their co-workers’ mental health, and the survey found this is partly due to “prolonged strain the workplace resulting in declining productivity.”

Supervisors say employees are about 27 per cent less productive than in 2019. However, there is concern from about 35 per cent of those in charge about workers’ mental health overall, “suggesting the Canadian workforce may be at risk of detrimental long-term mental health effects,” according to the survey.

In B.C., more and more people are reporting feeling stressed.

“While most of the population has adjusted to new work environments and physical distancing, ongoing economic uncertainties and anxieties related to work and personal life continue to plague Canadians,” said Stephen Liptrap, president and chief executive officer. “Our collective mental health is at significant risk. It has never been more critical to make a conscious effort to support ourselves and each other and for employers to emphasize mental health and physical health equally in order to ensure employees feel heard and supported as the pandemic continues.”

It seems there aren’t many people taking their holidays either, given non-essential travel restrictions, with almost half of the people surveyed saying they didn’t take all of their time off in 2020.