It should come as no surprise that mental health of the general population has waned in the days since the COVID-19 shutdowns. According to Morneau Shepell’s new Mental Health Index, there has been a statistically significant decrease in mental health, when compared to pre-COVID-19 benchmarks representing a change in score of 63 compared to the benchmark of 75.
The report says that an overall score of 63 is very concerning. Such a score is typically only seen in the subset of employees who have major life disruption and mental health risk. In addition to the overall assessment of mental health, the survey also specifically asked about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of respondents (81%) reported that the COVID-19 pandemic is negatively impacting their mental health, ranging from some concern but an ability to cope (49%) to feeling the crisis has a negative, very negative or significantly negative impact on their mental health (32%).
“We can’t ignore the reality that mental health concerns and anxieties will continue to worsen as COVID-19 escalates,” said Stephen Liptrap, president and chief executive officer. “We’re proud to see our governments and many Canadian organizations stepping up to the plate to expand mental health offerings for those who need it, including individuals who have been laid off.”
The Mental Health Index also assessed the main COVID-19-related factors that are leading to these mental health concerns. The top concern having an impact on mental health relates to the financial impact of the pandemic (55%), followed by the fear of getting ill or having a loved one pass away (42%, respectively) and uncertainty around how the virus will impact family (33%).