Feeling Anxious? You’re Not Alone. As Many as Three in Ten (31%) Ontarians Report Having a Diagnosed Mental Health Condition – Most (75%) of Which Are Dealing with Anxiety
Nearly Half (45%) Say it Would Be Difficult for Them to Discuss Their Mental Health with Loved Ones
October 3, 2022 (Whitby, ON) - As we approach World Mental Health Day on October 10, a new Ipsos Poll conducted on behalf of Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) reveals that three in ten (31%) Ontarians aged 18+ are affected by mental health issues. This equates to an astonishing 3.5 million adults in Ontario, of which three-quarters (75%) claim to be suffering from anxiety related disorders. What's more, Ontarians are concerned about their ability to access mental health care. According to the findings of the study, 41 percent of Ontarians think it would be difficult to access mental health services in their local community.
The data also indicates a lack of family support, with nearly half (45%) of Ontarians finding it difficult to talk to their loved ones about their mental health.
Karim Mamdani, President and CEO of Ontario Shores, a specialty mental health hospital that has been treating mental illness for over a century, says that "knowing anxiety and other mental health issues affect 3.5 million Ontarian adults and that 41 percent have difficulty accessing mental health services, certainly illustrates that more work needs to be done."
"This figure serves as a timely reminder that the demand for mental health services is rapidly increasing. Ontario Shores, like many other mental healthcare providers, has seen an increase in service demand," says Mamdani. "We believe that this is only the beginning, and that even more pressure to support the mental health of the communities we serve is just around the corner."
Sterling Renzoni, a former Ontario Shores adolescence inpatient turned mental health advocate and current member of a Patient Advisory and Recovery Committee, shared that when he was at the depths of his illness, he often felt as if he didn’t always have a voice beyond that of his eating disorder. He became a mental health advocate because he wants to work towards a healthcare system that is enriched with the voices of lived experience. " I want to help patients feel understood and supported by shaping hospital policies and providing a representation of hope for those battling mental illness."
"What's more, 31% of Ontarians said their mental health deteriorated during the pandemic, and 60% of parents said their children's mental health declined as well."
About Sterling Renzoni
Sterling is a university student and former adolescent inpatient at Ontario Shores who is now a mental health advocate and member of the Patient Advisory and Recovery Committee. He has suffered from anxiety for as long as he can remember. In eighth grade, he was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, which triggered a four-year cycle of hospitalizations and outpatient treatment, and at his lowest point, death was a terrifying reality. Although he is grateful for the transformative care he received at Ontario Shores, his experiences with mental healthcare and overcoming the stigma associated with having an eating disorder as a male taught him that there is still much more that can be done. He felt he didn't have a voice as a teen in treatment. He became a mental health advocate because he wanted to give those who didn't have one a voice. His goal is to influence hospital policies and events to benefit other mental health patients.
About Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences:
Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) is a leader in mental health care, providing a range of specialized assessment and treatment services for people living with complex mental illness. Patients benefit from a recovery-oriented environment of care built on compassion, inspiration and hope. Ontario Shores engages in research, education and advocacy initiatives to advance the mental health care system.
About the Study
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between September 13th and 15th, 2022 on behalf of the Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Services. For this survey, a sample of 1,001 Canadians aged 18+ were interviewed, including n=371 Ontarians who are the focus of this release. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±5.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Ontarians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
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Senior Vice President, Ipsos Public Affairs
Senior Account Manager, Ipsos Public Affairs
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For more information, please contact:
Julie Van Hartingsveldt
External Relations Specialist
Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences
905-430-4055 ext. 6574