New data says fewer Ontarians are seeking mental health supports during COVID-19, but services are helping those who use them

CMHA Champlain East, May 14, 2020 – As more details emerge about the psychological impact of COVID-19, CMHA Champlain East is encouraging anyone who is struggling with mental health and addictions issues at this time to reach out and seek help.

The call comes as new provincial data this week showed that far fewer people with a mental health condition have been seeking formal supports since the crisis began.

In the first of three polls by Pollara Strategic Insights on behalf of Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario Division, only 13 per cent of Ontarians who identified as having a mental health condition said they’ve accessed mental health supports since the outbreak, compared to 39 per cent before the pandemic.

Further, nearly one-third (31 per cent) of those diagnosed with a mental health condition feel they do not have all the supports they need.

On the flipside, 77 per cent of those who have accessed mental health supports during the outbreak have found these supports to be helpful.

Also of interest is that 41 per cent of the general population in Ontario wish they had someone to talk to about the things that are worrying them now, and 43 per cent do not feel confident in their ability to find mental health supports.

“Our polling data suggests people don’t know where to find mental health and addictions resources or are just hesitant to reach out, but those who are reaching out and getting the help they need are being effectively supported,” said CMHA Champlain East Executive Director Joanne Ledoux-Moshonas.

“Despite the limitations that come with physical distancing and isolation, the CMHA has found ways to continue providing support to our clients. This may be in person with the appropriate safety precautions, by phone, videoconferencing or other means,” said the Executive Director. “Help is still available and CMHA is here with our programs and services.”

Looking ahead, the Pollara research shows that seven out of 10 Ontarians (69 per cent) believe the province is headed for a “serious mental health crisis” as it emerges from this pandemic and nearly eight of out 10 (77 per cent) say more mental health supports will be necessary to help society.

“In order to meet an upcoming mental health crisis coming out of COVID-19, community mental health agencies need increased investment from government,” Joanne Ledoux-Moshonas said “The province has promised $3.8 billion over 10 years for mental health and addictions service but the investment has been slow to materialize.”

Additional findings from the Pollara research about mental health and addictions:

  • While 43 per cent of Ontarians do not feel confident in their ability to find supports if they were needed, 44 per cent do.
  • The things we recommend to stay mentally healthy are taking a hit. For example, 36 per cent of Ontarians say their diet has gotten worse, while 48 per cent say exercise habits have worsened.
  • A quarter (23 per cent) of Ontarians are consuming more substances such as alcohol, tobacco or cannabis. Among those who are consuming these substances, 29 per cent have changed the time of day when they consume.
  • Despite trying to make a daily routine, 59 per cent are finding it hard to be productive while in self-isolation. This is true of those who are currently employed and those not working.
  • 29 per cent of those who have been diagnosed with a mental health condition say they’ve had issues accessing the supports they need during this time.

Pollara’s online research of 1,001 Ontario residents over 18 was conducted from April 16-23. It carries a margin of error of ± 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Two more surveys will follow in the coming months as restrictions loosen around COVID-19 and the economy continues to re-open during this unprecedented time. CMHA Ontario is looking to evaluate how Ontarians’ perceptions of their mental health are changing as they come out from the pandemic.

 

For more information, contact:

Joanne Ledoux-Moshonas

Executive Director

Canadian Mental Health Association, Champlain East

T: 613-933-5845

E : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

New data shows majority of Ontarians believe mental health crisis will follow COVID-19 impact

(Toronto, May 11, 2020) – Seven out of 10 Ontarians (69 per cent) believe the province is headed for a “serious mental health crisis” as it emerges from this pandemic and nearly eight out of 10 (77 per cent) say more mental health supports will be necessary to help society, according to new poll results released today.

This data comes from the first of three polls Pollara Strategic Insights is conducting on behalf of Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario Division.

CMHA Ontario is looking to evaluate how Ontarians’ perceptions of their mental health are changing as they come out from underneath the pandemic. Two more surveys will follow in the coming months as restrictions loosen around COVID-19 and the economy continues to re-open.

Pollara’s research shows that 79 per cent of people in the province worry about what the future will look like after the outbreak is over, 87 per cent are worried about the impact on the older generation, and 71 per cent are worried about the younger generation.

Nearly everyone (90 per cent) is concerned about COVID-19’s impact on the economy and 69 per cent of Ontarians are concerned about the impact the outbreak has on their personal finances.

One finding of note is that while 67 per cent of Ontarians are worrying about the mental health impact on family and friends, fewer Ontarians – 53 per cent – are concerned about their own mental health.

“Stigma is likely playing a role in this self-reporting in that it’s much easier for Ontarians to admit concern for their physical health or for others than their own mental health,” said Camille Quenneville, CEO of CMHA Ontario.

“This may explain why, in spite of prevalent negative feelings, more people in Ontario express concern with their physical health [39 per cent] than those who express concern with their mental health [23 per cent],” she said.

“We look forward to the next phases of this research to gain a broader understanding of how the pandemic has affected our province and how we can best move forward to support Ontarians as they address mental health and addictions issues,” Quenneville said.

Pollara’s online research of 1,001 Ontario residents over 18 was conducted from April 16-23. It carries a margin of error of ± 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Additional findings:

  • Three-fifths (58 per cent) believe the mental health of themselves, those in their household (55 per cent) and friends and family outside their household (59 per cent) are negatively affected by the pandemic.  
  • People are more likely to feel their mental health (36 per cent) has worsened than their physical health (26 per cent) during the coronavirus outbreak.
  • A quarter (23 per cent) of Ontarians are consuming more substances such as alcohol, tobacco or cannabis. Among those who are consuming these substances, 29 per cent have changed the time of day when they consume.
  • The things we recommend to stay mentally healthy are taking a hit. For example, 36 per cent of Ontarians say their diet has gotten worse, while 48 per cent say exercise habits have worsened.
  • Despite trying to make a daily routine, 59 per cent are finding it hard to be productive while in self-isolation. This is true of those who are currently employed and those not working.
  • Eight per cent have had to deal with themselves or friends and family members testing positive, or losing a friend or friend or family member to the virus.
  • 69 per cent of Ontarians are concerned about catching the virus, while 70 per cent are concerned about losing family or friends to COVID-19.
  • 40 per cent of respondents or an immediate family member have lost work hours or pay while nearly a third (28 per cent) have been laid off.
  • 65 per cent are concerned about the impact on students’ education.

About Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario is a not-for-profit, charitable organization. We work to improve the lives of all Ontarians through leadership, collaboration and continual pursuit of excellence in community-based mental health and addictions services. Our vision is a society that embraces and invests in the mental health of all people. We are a trusted advisor to government, contributing to health systems development through policy formulation and recommendations that promote positive mental health. Our 28 local CMHA branches, together with community-based mental health and addictions service providers across the province, serve approximately 500,000 Ontarians each year.

 

For more information, contact your local CMHA branch or:

Justin Dickie

Communications Officer

Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario

T: 416-977-5580, ext. 4175

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

CMHA Mental Health Week

  • This year, CMHA Mental Health Week is being observed May 4-10, 2020.
  • Every year since 1951, CMHA has hosted Mental Health Week in the first full week in May, making 2020 the 69th year.
  • Mental Health Week is a Canadian tradition, with communities, schools and workplaces rallying to celebrate, protect and promote mental health.
  • Visit www.mentalhealthweek.ca for info and tools about CMHA Mental Health Week.
  • Connect on social media using the hashtags #GetReal and #MentalHealthWeek.

Please click on link for full fact sheet: CMHA Mental Health Week - Fact Sheet

 

Champions Of Mental Health Award: https://yourtv.tv/node/259181

Mental Health Week Part 1 https://yourtv.tv/node/259311

Mental Health Week part 2: https://yourtv.tv/node/259851

FRENCH Semaine De la Sante Mentale: https://yourtv.tv/node/259861

CCH Child & Youth Mental Health Services: https://yourtv.tv/node/259646

Youth Wellness Hub: https://yourtv.tv/node/259856

 

New BounceBack campaign promotes access to mental health program

Mental health concerns are among the many challenges Ontarians are currently facing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time of public uncertainty, CMHA’s BounceBack program remains an effective option to support Ontarians who may be dealing with mild-to-moderate anxiety or depression, or may be feeling low, stressed, worried, irritable or angry.

BounceBack is a free, guided self-help program for people aged 15 and up. Participants receive telephone coaching, skill-building workbooks and online videos to help them overcome these symptoms and gain new skills to regain positive mental health. BounceBack is not a crisis service, psychotherapy or counselling, but a life-skills program that participants work with to develop coping techniques so they can overcome challenges during this pandemic and long afterward.

For more information or to see if the BounceBack program may be right for you, visit https://bouncebackontario.ca/.

 

BounceBack offers quick tips to support your mental health during COVID-19

Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division’s BounceBack program has developed a mental health tip sheet to support those who may be experiencing heightened mental health challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tip sheet, titled 10 things you can do right now to reduce anxiety, stress, worry related to COVID-19, offers 10 quick and easy things anyone can do to alleviate mild-to-moderate symptoms of anxiety or depression at a time when these difficulties may be exacerbated. Tips include managing news consumption, challenging unhelpful thoughts, staying socially connected, helping others, spending time outdoors and more.

BounceBack is a free, guided self-help program that’s effective in helping people aged 15 and up who are experiencing mild-to-moderate anxiety or depression, or may be feeling low, stressed, worried, irritable or angry. Participants receive telephone coaching, skill-building workbooks and online videos to help them overcome these symptoms and gain new skills to regain positive mental health.

The Ontario government recently announced an expansion of online and virtual mental health supports, including BounceBack, to help Ontarians navigating the difficult realities in the wake of COVID-19.

Further, CMHA Ontario has compiled a list of services available by branch during the pandemic, as well as a list of other provincial mental health supports.

 

Help Support Mental Health in Nova Scotia

A few weeks ago, a terrible tragedy took place in and around Portapique, Nova Scotia. As communities across that province deal with the aftermath of this tragedy, it’s evident that Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Nova Scotia Division has become an important resource for those needing support with their mental health.

CMHA Nova Scotia needs financial support now more than ever to assist as many people as they can. Here’s how you can donate to support CMHA Nova Scotia:

  1. Click here to access the CMHA Ontario online donation form.
  2. In the “TRIBUTE GIFTS” section, in the “Type of Gift” dropdown, select “In Honour“.
  3. Please write “CMHA Nova Scotia” in the “Name of the person this donation is in honour/memory of” text box.

Your support is greatly appreciated. All the funds collected will go directly to CMHA Nova Scotia. Your donation will help CMHA Nova Scotia continue to provide programs and services in communities across the province.

 

Join CMHA’s #SignsofSupport campaign to spread positivity, encouragement amid COVID-19

 

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) branches across Ontario are encouraging their local communities to share positive messages of support for one another through the #SignsofSupport social media campaign as a way to keep spirits high amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Initiated by CMHA York and South Simcoe Branch, #SignsofSupport started with that branch’s staff members holding pictures filled with messages of encouragement to help others through this difficult time.

 

Now, CMHA Champlain East is looking to our community to help spread positivity. Here are the steps to create your Sign of Support:

  1. Print out these templates or use a blank sheet of paper to write a message of hope or a tip for the public to help them through this difficult time. If you are using a blank sheet of paper, write #SignsofSupport on the bottom right hand corner.
  1. Take a picture of yourself holding the sign.
  1. Share the picture on social media and tag us on https://www.facebook.com/cmhaeast/ Feel free to share your message on as many channels as you wish.
  1. Encourage your friends to participate and keep checking back for more signs of support!

Let’s build each other up during this difficult time by sharing positive messages of encouragement and connection on social media. Every photo matters!

 

Mental Health Works conference scheduled for June 1 & 2 postponed due to COVID-19

After careful consideration, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario Division and Mental Health Works are making the necessary decision to postpone the Mental Health Works 2020 conference in light of the evolving public health concerns around COVID-19. The IMPACT: A vision of change for mental health in the workplace conference was scheduled for June 1 and 2 in Toronto.

In the coming weeks, CMHA Champlain East will share more information about the rescheduling of the conference.

Mental Health Works and CMHA Champlain East want to thank you for your continued support of CMHA Ontario and mental health in the workplace and hope you will participate in the conference once a new date has been determined.

Mental Health Works looks forward to hosting you at a later date. Until then, stay safe and healthy!

For more information, please check the Mental Health Works website daily for upcoming news, programming and services specific to workplace mental health and COVID-19.

  

Update on our services EN Bannr Web

Important notice regarding CMHA Champlain East

Last updated: March 25, 2020

CMHA Champlain East deemed essential service; providing community supports in different ways

Deemed an essential service by the Ontario government amid public health concerns related to COVID-19, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Champlain East remains open and is ensuring community mental health and addictions supports are safely available by providing programs, services and information to our clients over the phone as this situation develops.

In accordance with social distancing measures outlined by public health agencies, CMHA Champlain East has recently altered service delivery to protect public health and safety, pivoting services and information sharing to virtual or other means so individuals in need of mental health and addictions supports can continue to get the help they need.

To protect clients and staff while continuing to support the community, CMHA Champlain East is providing the following services by phone to our clients until further notice:

    • Intensive Case Management Supports
    • Resource Center Supports
    • All educational presentations/trainings have been suspended.
    • The Resource Centers (Strabright, Oasis and Horizon) will remain closed.

If you or someone you know is struggling, please contact CMHA Champlain East 1-800-493-8271 to find out about virtual and phone-based support services there to help you.

 

Resources

Special webinar series on mental wellness, COVID-19 links, news releases and resources click here: https://www.cmha-east.on.ca/index.php/en/mental-health/coping-with-covid-19

  

If you feel you are experiencing symptoms of the Coronavirus please contact:

-       Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or;

-       The Eastern Ontario Health Unit at 1-800-267-7120