Bell Let’s Talk Day: Impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of Ontarians
26 Jan 2022
Today is the 12th annual Bell Let’s Talk Day, a campaign that focusses on reducing stigma, and increasing awareness, acceptance, and action around mental health and mental illness. This campaign encourages Canadians and individuals worldwide to “keep listening, keep talking and keep being there for ourselves and each other”.
Since its first year, the Bell Let’s Talk campaign has committed over $121 million to mental health initiatives in Canada with over 1.3 billion interactions across various forms of media.
Mental Health in Ontario Amid COVID-19
The mental health of Ontarians continues to be increasingly affected during the pandemic as more than half identify as being lonely, one in three experience high to very high levels of anxiety and stress, and more than one in four are using substances to cope.
In the fourth wave of the pandemic however, an increasing number of Ontarians are confident in their ability to find mental health and addictions supports than in previous waves, and many of those who have received supports have found them helpful.
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a call to identify and address sociocultural health disparities, as certain groups of Ontarians are disproportionately affected. Though not all Ontarians are affected in the same ways, many of us are facing unpredicted challenges that can be stressful and overwhelming, and can cause strong emotional responses. Public health measures including social distancing, online learning and the closure of many businesses, though necessary to reduce the spread of the virus, can often make us feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety.
Now more than ever Canadians need to come together to support our friends, families, and communities to ensure those in need are supported, feel safe, and have access to the necessary professional supports. There is no health without mental health.
Find out more about where you can find mental health and addictions support in Ontario.