A man wears a face mask as he sits on a bench in Montreal, Saturday, June 27, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Household size, employment key factors in pandemic mental health among Canadians: survey

Educational levels did not play a large role

A survey from Statistics Canada suggests that family, finances and underlying health conditions play a key role in how Canadians’ mental health fared during the pandemic.

The survey, released Wednesday (June 24), found that 54 per cent of Canadians aged 15 and older reported “excellent” or “very good” mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Researchers found that older people were more likely to report excellent or very good mental health Looking at people aged 15 to 24, 11 per cent reported excellent or very good mental health compared to 26.8 of seniors 65 and over.

Men were somewhat more likely to report very good or excellent mental health at 53.5 per cent compared to 46.5 per cent for women.

Educational levels did not appear to play a large role in levels of happiness, as 32 per cent of those who completed just high school, or did not graduate, felt like their mental health was very good or excellent. For those who had a bachelor’s degree or above, 31 per cent reported very good or excellent mental health.

Employment status showed a big divide, researchers found. Of Canadians who were employed and still reporting to work, 47.8 per cent reported very good or excellent mental health compared to just 8.9 per cent of those who were employed but not currently working due to COVID-19.

In tandem with employment, finances played a big role in mental health and happiness. Nearly 76 per cent of those who felt minor or no impacts on their finances reported very good or excellent mental health compared to 24.5 per cent of those whose finances were moderately or majorly affected.

Household size also appeared to play a large role. Nearly 56 per cent of Canadians in a two-person household reported very good or excellent mental health, while 14.9 per cent of single-person households reported high levels of mental health, with three-person households at 14.3 per cent and households of four and more people were at 9.9 per cent.

People with compromised immune systems or underlying conditions were much less likely to report good or excellent mental health, at 11.2 per cent and 15.8 per cent, respectively, compared to 88.8 per cent and 84.2 per cent with an non-compromised immune systems or no health conditions.

READ MORE: COVID-19 increases risk for Canada’s ‘invisible’ homeless women: study

READ MORE: Food insecurity hits laid off workers, households with kids harder amid pandemic


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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