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Fewer Ontarians seeking mental health support during pandemic
SUDBURY -- A new poll released by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is shedding light on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people diagnosed with a mental health condition and addictions.
The study shows 43 per cent of Ontarians do not feel confident in their ability to find supports if they were needed.
13 per cent of Ontarians who identified as having a mental health condition say they’ve accessed mental health supports since the outbreak, compared to 39 per cent before the pandemic.
"What it tells us is that there is still a lot of either reservation in accessing mental health services, so there could be a stigma attached. Or people are just not knowing where to access services."said Patty MacDonald, the CEO of Canadian Mental Health Association Sudbury-Manitoulin.
The poll also shows recommended areas-of-focus for preserving mental health are taking a hit, with 36 per cent of Ontarians saying their diet has gotten worse and 48 per cent saying exercise habits have worsened.
The CMHA says it's important for people to stay connected.
"People are really just searching out connecting with family, whether it's virtually so you can see face to face. Sending out cards, going for walks, you know going out into nature always grounds people. We are trying to get people to look at ways to relieve stress," said MacDonald.
However, the polls show 23 per cent of Ontarians are consuming more substances such as alcohol, tobacco or cannabis.
Results from the poll indicate 7 out of 10 people in Ontario believe the province is headed for a "serious mental health crisis" as it emerges from this pandemic and many believe more mental health supports will be necessary.