Three Quarters (77%) Would Admit To Having A Mental Illness, But Privacy (50%), Fear Of Different Treatment (45%), And Stigma (45%) Continue To Stop Many From Sharing Their Struggles

Toronto, ON, September 22, 2020 — As we continue to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, there is increased attention being paid to how the coronavirus is impacting the mental health of Canadians. News stories increasingly focus on how social distancing and long periods of isolation lead to increased levels of anxiety and depression among Canadians, and a discourse is emerging across the country surrounding how mental health can be supported during a time when the future (including the potential of a second wave of the virus) seems uncertain. A poll conducted by Ipsos on behalf of RBC Insurance shows that Canadians who are employed, or have recently been laid off as a result of the pandemic (referred to as working Canadians hereafter) have seen their attitudes towards mental health shift in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, posing important questions on how Canadians will weather the coming months.

Working Canadians Feel More Comfortable Admitting To Struggling With A Mental Illness, But Fewer Consider Depression A Disability

Working Canadians were asked a series of questions pertaining to their attitudes towards mental health, disability coverage, what they consider to be a disability, and how their attitudes have changed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The survey found that respondents would be increasingly willing to admit if they were struggling with a mental illness with 77% indicating they would discuss a mental illness with their co-worker or boss, +4 pts from the previous year. Furthermore, stigma no longer tops the list of reasons of why working Canadians would choose not to disclose their struggles with mental illness, dropping to third in a list of reasons of why one would feel reluctant to discuss, or would not discuss their mental health challenges with their colleagues.

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