Pandemic’s economic victims also face mental health challenges

By James Langton | March 18, 2021 | Last updated on March 18, 2021
1 min read
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The financial turmoil faced by many Canadians due to the Covid-19 pandemic is also associated with widespread mental health issues.

According to a new report from Statistics Canada, a survey examining the effects of the pandemic on mental health carried out between September and December 2020 found that 15% of Canadians said they’d experienced difficulty meeting their basic financial responsibilities (paying rent, utilities, groceries) due to the pandemic.

Of those, more than 40% also screened positive for one of the major mental disorders (depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD).

StatsCan reported that 32% of those who reported financial difficulties due to the pandemic also screened positive for major depressive disorder, 29% had generalized anxiety disorder, and 17% had probable PTSD.

By comparison, for those who didn’t face financial difficulties due to the pandemic, 12% screened positive for depression, 10% screened positive for anxiety, and 5% for PTSD, StatsCan said.

“This pattern is consistent with pre-pandemic findings of an association between higher rates of mental disorders, and low income and financial strain,” the agency said.

“Those who reported job or income loss due to the Covid-19 pandemic also had much higher rates of screening positive for each of the mental disorders compared with those who did not experience that impact due to the pandemic,” StatsCan noted.

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James Langton

James is a senior reporter for and its sister publication, Investment Executive. He has been reporting on regulation, securities law, industry news and more since 1994.