Anxiety and Depression Spikes

Over 1800 Canadians were interviewed by Mental Health Research Canada about their mental health, both before and after COVID-19. There has been a significant increase in self-reports of anxiety with 5% saying they experienced high or extreme levels of anxiety to 20% just five weeks after COVID-19. depression has jumped from 4% to 10%. The top concerns for people were fear a loved one might get COVID-19, fear of job loss, and economic downturn. Most people anticipated that if social distancing continues another two months or more, they will feel increasingly more depressed. Feelings of hopelessness and despair increase as the pandemic continues with no end in sight.

Finding ways to connect with others and to engage in enjoyable activities is more important than ever as the health crisis continues. We must take breaks from COVID-19 by ensuring that all our conversations do not revolve around the current situation. We need to turn off the news and engage in meaningful activities. We need to make more effort than ever to stay connected or to reconnect with others so we don’t drift into loneliness and despair. Protecting our mental health is as important as protecting our physical health.

Jenny DeReis, MC Psych., CCC

Walmsley EFAP