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Half of Canadians touched by mental health issues: survey

Last Updated May 20, 2018 at 8:40 am PDT

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Summary

A new survey has found one in two Canadians have experienced a mental health issue

Millennials are most likely to report mental health concerns, but are the least likely to talk to a professional: survey

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s something all of us are touched by, directly or indirectly. A new survey has indicated one in two Canadians have experienced a mental health issue.

This problem is particularly pronounced among millennials — with nearly two thirds reporting that they’ve had mental health concerns.

Across all age groups, 37 percent surveyed have suffered from anxiety, with nearly a third reporting that they’ve dealt with depression.

“You know the surprising thing is the percentages who are likely to report it, to discuss it with a mental health professional,” explains Kevin Press with Sun Life, which commissioned the survey. “It’s not great.”

From work-related stress to living with conditions like schizophrenia, mental illness can affect people at any stage of their life.

Half of Gen-Xers surveyed say they have reported mental health concerns, while 41 per cent of Late Boomers did.

“The numbers speak for themselves – many Canadians say they have experienced a mental health issue in their life,” Jacques Goulet, President of Sun Life Financial Canada says. “To get at the heart of the issue, we need to open the lines of safe communication and work together to remove barriers.”

The survey has found less working Canadians talk to their employers about their mental health issues. Only about 28 per cent have reached out to their workplace as opposed to 56 per cent of Canadians who’ve brought up a serious physical issue with their employer.

Sun Life says there’s still a clear social stigma around mental health issues across Canada, something that needs to be addressed.

Press says there are a number of things people can do to stay healthy.

“Exercise is a big key. Focus on a healthy diet. We know that feeling physically healthy leads to better mental health, so that’s important. And learn about what your workplace provides. A lot of Canadian employers provide really terrific employee benefits plans.”

About a quarter of those surveyed say they have not spoken to a professional about their mental health issue. Millennials were also found to be the least likely to talk to a health professional.

2,900 Canadians ranging from 20 to 80 years of age were polled for this Ipsos-conducted survey in October of 2017. Regional, age, and gender composition was also taken into account.