About half of Canadians have suffered a decline in their mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a poll.

The Angus Reid Institute survey found that 10% of respondents complained their mental health has worsened “a lot.”

Respondents most commonly said they were feeling worried (44%), anxious (41%) and bored (30%), although 34% said they feel grateful. Just 6% noted they were happy, while 16% described themselves as depressed.

Alberta led the way in terms of those hardest hit (32%), with Quebeckers the lowest (20%). Nearly one-quarter (24%) of those hardest hit overall noted that their relationships at home have suffered since the pandemic started.

Feelings of worry, anxiety and gratitude were noted to be higher among women than men. The men surveyed were more likely to describe themselves as feeling optimistic than women.

Interestingly, only 14% of respondents said their relationship with a roommate or roommates was “a little/a lot worse than six weeks ago.” A greater number of people (24%) noted their relationships have gone the opposite way (“a lot/a little better than six weeks ago.”)

In terms of financial struggles, 22% said coronavirus has led to job loss in their household; 30% said it’s led to loss of investment value and 73% of those that have applied for federal assistance said the programs are either a total lifeline or help a lot.

Three-quarters of respondents said it was too early to lift social-distancing restrictions.

The poll was conducted April 15-17 from a randomized sample of 1,912 Canadian adults who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of 2.2%, 19 times out of 20.


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