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Canada's working women, especially mothers, report worsening mental health, poll finds

Last Updated Mar 15, 2021 at 11:33 am PDT

People wear face masks as they walk along a street in Montreal, Sunday, February 21, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Summary

Poll finds women were much more likely than men to experience feelings of stress, anxiety and depression

More than half of working mothers surveyed in Canada reported feeling stressed

Many mothers worried about helping with schoolwork while also feeling guilty about not spending time with their children

TORONTO — A new survey has found rising mental health concerns among Canada’s working women one year into the pandemic, particularly among mothers.

The Pollara Strategic Insights poll conducted on behalf of the Prosperity Project and CIBC found women were much more likely than men to experience feelings of stress, anxiety and depression, with the findings worse for working mothers.

The survey says more than half of working mothers reported feeling stressed, while 47 per cent felt anxious and 43 per cent felt depressed.

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The poll found working mothers were worried about helping with schoolwork while also feeling guilty about not spending time with their children.

Pamela Jeffery, founder of The Prosperity Project, says many working mothers are feeling trapped.

She says during the pandemic’s second wave women were more likely to consider quitting their job, asking for reduced working hours or taking a position with different working conditions.