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Pandemic affecting ongoing mental health of one in two Canadians: poll

Last Updated Mar 30, 2021 at 8:45 am PDT

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42 per cent of survey respondents believe mental impacts of pandemic will still be with us long after it's over

Poll finds women more likely than men to report mental health has been affected by pandemic

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful for many of us, and a new survey indicates the scale of the issue.

Half of those who took part in a KPMG in Canada poll say this situation has had an ongoing impact on their mental health.

And 42 per cent believe the effects of that will still be with us long after this is all over.

“More than a year of worrying about getting sick, stay-home restrictions, and job and economic challenges have taken a toll on Canadians’ mental health,” says Denis Trottier, chief mental health officer, KPMG in Canada.

“With vaccinations ramping up, Canadians should be seeing the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, but many are anxious that people are getting complacent and no longer exercising needed diligence to remain safe until the bulk of the population has been inoculated,” he adds.

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“We appear to be so close to the finish line in this ultra-marathon and now is not the time to stumble. More than ever, we need to be vigilant to protect our physical and mental health. This is the time to lean in.”

The poll finds women are more likely than men to report that their mental health has been affected by the realities of COVID-19.

And given how long this situation is dragging out, there’s concern about diligence, with 89 per cent worrying that “Canadians are becoming impatient with the lockdowns and will let their guard down.”

Trottier recommends building a circle of care. By that he means identifying who you can openly discuss your mental health with, and determine who you can support.

He says one way of doing this is to proactively ask friends, family, and co-workers questions like “how are you really feeling?”

Another is embracing new habits that support wellness, especially with the lines between work and life getting blurred.