A poll conducted by Ipsos has found that nearly 40 percent of Canadians have struggled with mental health problems or addiction during the coronavirus pandemic, Global News reports.
The poll found that younger Canadians are more likely to be suffering from such issues during the pandemic than are older Canadians. 14 percent of Canadians between the ages of 18-35 admit to struggling with addiction since the pandemic started, a number which drops to a mere two percent for those above the age of 55.
28 percent of Canadians, on the other hand, admit to struggling with mental health issues as a result of the pandemic, a number which is higher among younger Canadians and low wage earners.
"It’s one of those situations where you start to see the cracks coming together," said Ipsos CEO Darrell Bricker. "The younger people are less likely to say that they’re doing well in this circumstance, and one of the things that seem to be affecting their lives is the reliance on alcohol addiction and mental health issues, which are more highly correlated with youth than with older people."
Overall, 15 percent of Canadians have said that they have consumed more alcohol this year than in previous years.
The poll corroborates data from across the country showing skyrocketing overdoses from illicit drugs.
Another troubling finding is that nearly one third of Canadians report having gained weight during the pandemic, with women reporting higher rates of weight gain than men.
Despite these troubling findings, 78 percent of Canadians say that their quality of life has not changed since the beginning of the pandemic, a number which rises to 87 percent among Canadians age 55 and over. Bricker attributes the higher hopes among the older, the most at risk of coronavirus, to financial security.
"Elderly people are actually usually reasonably well-off. They’ve got, for the most part, good homes. They’ve found a way to save for their retirement. Their kids have all moved out and moved on to other stages of life," Bricker said.
Meanwhile, young people in difficult financial situations have found themselves cut off from both their jobs and their support networks, making a dire financial situation even worse.