Toronto, ON, May 6, 2020 — In conjunction with CMHA’s national Mental Health week, which runs May 4th to 10th, 2020, Ipsos explored the attitudes of Ontarians towards their mental health, in the annual Mental Health Risk Index, conducted on behalf of Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) and Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO).
For the first time, the index explored adults, youth and children’s mental health, including experiences in the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The index shows that the proportion of Ontarians who are classified as “high risk” is 44%, while 19% are at “moderate risk” (a total of 63% at risk). Further, 30% of children and youth are classified as “high risk”, while another 19% are at “moderate risk” (a total of 49% at risk), demonstrating that mental health remains a challenge for many adults, youth and children.
In addition to findings related to the Mental Health Risk Index, the poll found that two-thirds (67%) of Ontarians agree that the mental health impacts of COVID-19 are going to be serious and lasting.
Other findings include:
- 45% of Ontarians report that their mental health has deteriorated since COVID-19 began (defined as since the start of the pandemic; that is, since restrictions were put in place to self-isolate or physically distance yourself from others).
- Adults and Children have increased their time playing video games on a computer, phone or tablet or game console (40% adults and 52% of children).
- There is a spike in families that feel stressed to the point where they felt they could not cope or deal with things. Nearly half (48%) of adults reported that in 2019 they felt stressed to the point where they couldn’t cope, which is on par with 2018 (47%); and 28% say since the start of the pandemic they more often feel this way. Those in the GTA-416 are feeling impacted the most, with 36% saying they are more often feeling this way since the start of the pandemic. Children and youth aren’t much better off with 34% of parents saying that their child felt was stressed to the point that they couldn’t cope in 2019; and 24% say since the start of the pandemic they are feeling this way more often.
- 60% of Ontarians said they felt stressed to the point that it had an impact on how they lived their daily life in 2019 which is on par with 2018 (62%); but 44% say since the start of the pandemic they are feeling this more often. Those in the GTA-416 (54%) are feeling the most impacted Almost half (46%) of parents report that in 2019, their child felt stressed to the point where it had an impact on their daily life; yet 30% say since the start of the pandemic they are more often feeling this way.
- If they were experiencing a serious mental health issue, 55% of Ontarians would seek in-person therapy or counselling compared to just 24% that are likely to seek a call or text helpline and primary care for support.
- 30% of families have a relative living with them that has been diagnosed with a mental health condition or mental illness (having chronic depression, bipolar, anxiety, psychotic, substance use disorder, gambling disorder or personality disorder).
- 76% of Ontarians think that the Ontario government should put an equal focus on taking care of Ontarian’s mental health as physical health during COVID-19.
About the Study
These are the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Children's Mental Health Ontario, and Addictions and Mental Health Ontario. For the poll a sample of 1,002 residents of Ontario was surveyed online via the Ipsos I-Say panel from April 28th to 30th 2020. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Ontario population according to census information. The precision of online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case the results are considered accurate to within +/- 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had all Ontario adults been surveyed. The credibility interval will be wider for subsets of the population.
For more information on this news release, please contact:
Jennifer McLeod Macey
Vice President, Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 416 324 2108
Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people. Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.
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