More than 5 million people in Canada are grappling with symptoms of mental illness, according to a new report. The Mental Health and Access to Care Survey published by Statistics Canada revealed that an increasing number of Canadians aged 15 and older meet the criteria for depression, bipolar disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.
This trend is even more pronounced among young women. The prevalence of anxiety disorder among women aged 15–24 tripled from 2012 to 2022, from 3.8% to 11.9%. In addition, major depressive episodes in this demographic also rose from 9% in 2012 to 18.4% in 2022.
Of the 18% of Canadians aged 15 or older who met the criteria for a mood, anxiety, or substance abuse disorder, almost half have reported discussing their condition with a mental health professional. 32% of these discussions were with family doctors or general practitioners rather than specialists such as psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychotherapists, which can be much harder to access and costly.
To address mental health issues, Canada has many services that provide support. People in need of mental health services can get in touch with family doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and social workers. Additionally, one can call 211 or visit the Ontario mental health support website. Newcomers in Canada can see what options are available to them, as well as access services in many different languages, through CAMH.
Evergreen College recognizes the growing need for mental health and social services. Those looking to make a difference should join the Community Service Worker program, designed to offer support and guidance in social work settings. Our programs ensure that our graduates are ready to make a meaningful impact in their communities.
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