Maintaining Mental Health Through the Pandemic

The Coronavirus pandemic can be stressful and depressing for Canadians. Since the pandemic started, the general population’s mental health has declined dramatically. The feeling of isolation has caused multiple personality disorders. For instance, adults worrying about their job security and the inability to provide for their family can cause significant stress to the person. For the youth, the lack of interaction leads to social isolation during the pandemic. 

Youth and young adults in all likelihood go through mental health issues more than any other age group. Suicide has become the second leading cause of death for Canadians between the ages of 15 to 24. Rebecca Shields, CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) York Centre and South Simcoe, mentioned, “With youth, it is even worse, their anxiety is up and all their normal social connections – being able to see their friends or being able to go to school. They have suffered more loss of employment than a lot of other groups because a lot of them worked in the restaurant industries more than any other industries.”

We have seen a lot of worrying trends around the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health across youths and all Canadians. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Canadians that are vulnerable are 2x more likely to say their mental health has declined due to COVID-19. They are 4x more likely to have suicidal thoughts (18% vs 4%). More people are having trouble coping since the outbreak started. 

Aside from the high risk of mental illness, Canadians also increased their alcohol consumption. “One in five Canadians staying at home report that their alcohol consumption has increased ever since they have been staying at home.” This is according to the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, a non-governmental organization that helps with substance abuse. Boredom and stress increase alcohol usage especially throughout the pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic affected every Canadian’s livelihood. Unable to adequately manage challenging times can lead to despair and mental instability. The best way to manage mental health problems is to focus on the things you can control. 

“Make sure you are getting enough sleep, that is really important! Make sure you are eating healthy meals, taking those walks. And when you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, when you feel like you are not coping anymore, reach out for help so that we can help you when you need medical treatment,” Rebecca Shield says.

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