There has been a big increase in the number of adults reporting they have poor mental health, according to an on-going survey in the province of Ontario. In 2003, the number was 4.7 per cent. By 2013 it had risen to 7.1 per cent.
The increase was especially pronounced in the latter five years among those aged 18 to 29, rising from three per cent to 12 per cent.
Of adults 18 and older, 2.2 per cent said they had seriously contemplated suicide in the previous year. “This is a troubling trend,” said Dr. Hayley Hamilton, one of the study’s lead researchers.
While the study involved residents of Ontario, Hamilton said the results could probably be generalized across Canada. She suggested young people are suffering from the effects of the recession, difficulties finding a job and uncertain futures.
The study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health also found increases in the use of cannabis and alcohol, while the non-medical use of prescription opioids and tobacco declined.